Microsoft Has Sounded The Alarm After Deepfaked Images Of Taylor Swift Went Viral

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the alarming issue of explicit AI-generated deepfakes featuring Taylor Swift in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt. Nadella expressed deep concern about the viral deepfakes and emphasized the need for swift action to ensure a safe online environment. Regardless of individual stances on specific issues, Nadella stressed that everyone benefits when the online world is secure for both content creators and consumers.

Discussing the consequences of AI, Nadella highlighted the importance of implementing effective guardrails around the technology to produce safer content. He acknowledged the ongoing efforts in this regard and advocated for collaboration between law enforcement and tech platforms to govern and regulate the technology more effectively. Nadella stated that there is significant potential for governance beyond what is currently acknowledged.

In an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, asked about the Swift images, Nadella said, “First of all, absolutely this is alarming and terrible, and so therefore yes, we have to act, and quite frankly all of us in the tech platform, irrespective of what your standing on any particular issue is — I think we all benefit when the online world is a safe world.”

“I don’t think anyone would want an online world that is completely not safe for both for content creators and content consumers,” Nadella said in the interview. “So therefore I think it behooves us to move fast on this.”

Asked about the consequences of AI, Nadella called out “all of the guardrails that we need to place around the technology so that there’s more safe content that’s being produced. And there’s a lot to be done and a lot being done there.” The Microsoft CEO said “law enforcement and tech platforms” can work together and that “I think we can govern a lot more than… we give ourselves credit for.”

Interestingly, the report suggested that Microsoft’s own software, specifically Microsoft Designer, may have played a role in creating the AI-generated deepfakes of Taylor Swift. The images were reported to have originated in a Telegram group where users shared pornographic AI-generated content. Members of this group allegedly used Microsoft Designer, employing workarounds to bypass safety mechanisms that typically prohibit sexually explicit material.

In a separate development, the Screen Actors Guild?American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) issued a statement condemning the explicit deepfakes of Taylor Swift as upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning. SAG-AFTRA called for the illegalization of the creation and dissemination of fake images, particularly those of a lewd nature, without the subject’s consent.

Microsoft has invested over $13 billion in OpenAI, the San Francisco-based research organization behind the creation of the AI chatbot ChatGPT. The interview with Satya Nadella is part of a larger discussion scheduled to air on “NBC Nightly News,” where more insights into addressing the challenges posed by AI-generated deepfakes may be revealed.

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