This is the Chinese deepfake creation application that is taking over

Do you want your face to replace the protagonist of ‘Titanic’ or ‘Game of Thrones’? Now there is a mobile application that allows you to do it with deepfakes: It’s called ZAO, it’s the new viral sensation from China and it is sweeping downloads in the Asian giant.

The new tool takes advantage of this artificial intelligence technique and with a photo of you achieves apparently spectacular results. The problem, analysts say, is new privacy risk that raises its use.

Deepfakes from mobile

The developer of this application, called Momo, launched this application last Friday for iOS after also succeeding with Tantan, something like the Chinese ‘Tinder’, and since then its success has been overwhelming: with it it is possible to put your face in any series or movie with a simple selfie.

In case you haven’t heard, #ZAO is a Chinese app which completely blew up since Friday. Best application of ‘Deepfake’-style AI facial replacement I’ve ever seen.

Here’s an example of me as DiCaprio (generated in under 8 secs from that one photo in the thumbnail) ? pic.twitter.com/1RpnJJ3wgT

– Allan Xia (@AllanXia) September 1, 2019

A user of the tool made it clear when replace his face with that of actor Leonardo DiCaprio in some clips of his movies. As he explained in his message, those deepfakes were generated in just 8 seconds from a single photo of his face.

The mobile application does not pursue absolute precision, indicate those who have tried it, but the subjective result is remarkable and maintains the facial structure of the original actor and places the features of the photograph that is used on top.

Here’s for Asian representation in Hollywood ? #ZAO #AI #Deepfake pic.twitter.com/qrSs3VajfL

– Allan Xia (@AllanXia) September 1, 2019

For some this could lead to a new trend in the entertainment segment in which film producers allow such use and enable you to “become the protagonist” of those movies and series. For example, the viewer could see an Avengers movie in which he would appear as one of the members of this group of superheroes.

ZAO can also be used in video game clips, which seems to also pose an even more eye-catching future in which the protagonists of the video games we play have our faces or the faces of real people that we want to appear in those video games.

This is the Chinese deepfake creation application that is taking over

At the moment ZAO works with a few preselected clips of films – it cannot be applied to any video clip of any film – that they have probably trained in their artificial intelligence systems and then apply the photos of the users quickly.

Another potential privacy threat, analysts say

The tool also serves to replace our faces with the faces that appear in very popular memes and meme generators, but some analysts indicate that ZAO re-force a debate on privacy.

Oh yeah, #Zao also works rather well with CG characters. I guess folks might not have to spend hours during character creation? I can see streamers loving this application of AI facial replacement. # DMC5 pic.twitter.com/AdpB4DIA00

– Allan Xia (@AllanXia) September 2, 2019

According to the Chinese cultural medium RADII, one of the clauses of the application established, for example, that the images uploaded and created on the platform could be used by the developer completely freely and for free. So that, ZAO “appropriated” the uploaded images by users to generate those deepfakes.

The threat posed by these videos for some has made, for example, the social network WeChat has started blocking ZAO videos, that cannot be shared in said network, where some users advocate deleting it and that people delete their accounts and photos.

Those responsible for ZAO have nevertheless wanted to clarify those terms and have revised those terms of use, indicating that the content generated with the application will not be used for other purposes. without the prior consent of the user. In addition, they stand out, if one deletes the ZAO user account, it will also delete all the images from the platform’s databases.

At the moment the application is available only for iOS in China, but its success shows the interest of the general public in deepfakes that are increasingly astonishing for their precision but also worrying about their potential use for fraud and deception on a small and large scale.