Scarlett Johansson has spoken out about about her face being used in fake AI-generated pornographic videos, and the depressing futility of fighting against this disturbing new form of digital privacy invasion against women.
The 34-year-old actress' image has been edited into dozens of graphic sex scenes by anonymous online 'creators', who use free artificial-intelligence software to make extremely realistic videos.
While fake pornographic images have been around for years and years, there has been a rise in 'deepfake' videos which are utilised to degrade and humiliate women.
Scarlett has commented candidly on the difficulties of removing these videos, partly because, as The Washington Post reports, it "requires challenging the validity of the videos in multiple places around the world".
"Clearly this doesn't affect me as much because people assume it's not actually me in a porno, however demeaning it is," the Avengers: Infinity War star told the paper.
"I think it's a useless pursuit, legally, mostly because the internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself. There are far more disturbing things on the dark web than this, sadly."
She continued: "It's a fruitless pursuit for me but a different situation than someone who loses a job over their image being used like that."
She also explained that part of the problem is down to copyright laws, which vary worldwide.
"Every country has their own legalese regarding the right to your own image, so while you may be able to take down sites in the US that are using your face, the same rules might not apply in Germany," the star added.
"I have sadly been down this road many, many times. The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause, for the most part."
She concluded that "if a person has more resources, they may employ various forces to build a bigger wall around their digital identity".
But she added grimly: "Nothing can stop someone from cutting and pasting my image or anyone else's onto a different body and making it look as eerily realistic as desired.
"There are basically no rules on the internet because it is an abyss that remains virtually lawless, withstanding US policies which, again, only apply here."
At least she is starting a conversation about the danger of deepfakes and the degrading impact they have.
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