China: Zao's video rigging application, between success and worry


The Zao application became viral in China in a few days. Yet the technology used called "deepfake" raises serious concerns.

Zao is the new Chinese application of video special effects that explodes since Friday in China. The principle is simple: replace the face of movie stars or the small screen with his own thanks to the technology of "deepfake". Users only have to provide a series of snapshots of themselves with different facial expressions and artificial intelligence takes care of doing the rest.

Character of Game of Throne, Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic … Users feast and videos seem more real than life, as shown by several examples shared on Twitter by Internet users.

ALSO READ >> "Deepfake": alert to manipulated videos

Risk of manipulation and invasion of privacy

If it is a real success, the mobile application is also under fire from critics for its potential invasion of privacy. The technology used opens the door to actions of manipulation of a formidable efficiency, in particular 2047980 and raises worries elsewhere in the world because of the risks of malicious uses.

READ ALSO >> Do "fake videos" follow fake news?

The company was also forced to announce Sunday changes to its privacy policy, which gave him until then an "irrevocable" right, "permanent" and "transferable" to use the content generated by users. "We understand the privacy fears, we have received feedback from the users and are going to solve the problems that we had not taken into consideration, which will take some time," Zao said in a statement.

The conditions of use have been modified

The terms of use have since been changed: the company has promised to use the photos and videos uploaded by Internet users only to improve the application and to remove from its servers any content that has been erased by users. users. The controversy did not diminish Zao's popularity. It was still Monday afternoon the most downloaded free application in China, according to the firm App Annie.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in June that it would be "sensible" for his social network to have a specific "deepfake" video policy. Zao is owned by the popular Nasdaq-listed Chinese dating application Momo.

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