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Zao app uses deepfake to create videos and viralizes in China | Edition and creation

Zao is an application that lets you transpose the user's face into the body of actors who star in famous movie scenes. Launched on China's App Store last Friday (30), the app topped the iPhone Store's most downloaded list over the weekend and turned into a fever among the Chinese. Using technology deepfake, the program can, by uploading a single photograph, make the user switch places, for example with stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Marilyn Monroe and Kit Harrington.

Created by Chinese developer MoMo, the app is not available on the App Store in Brazil or the United States, nor on the Google Play Store. On forums like Reddit, however, you can find a APK for download on the Android operating system. Still, you must have a Chinese phone number to complete the installation.

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Zao: app that uses deepfake technology to turn users into viralizing movie stars in China Photo: Reproduo / App StoreZao: app that uses deepfake technology to turn users into viralizing movie stars in China Photo: Reproduo / App Store

Zao: app that uses deepfake technology to turn users into viralizing movie stars in China Photo: Reproduo / App Store

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Game developer Allan Xia tested Zao and showed what the app capable of. On her Twitter profile, Xia posted a 30-second video featuring actor Leonardo DiCaprio's body in several movie scenes. In another clip produced with the application, the user plays the characters of the Game of Thrones series.

Although comic, the results are convincing. According to Xia, the first video was produced in just eight seconds, from a single photo, whose thumbnail is in the lower left corner of the clip. However, as found by Bloomberg news agency, the app also guides users to take a series of photographs in different situations by winking or opening their mouths, for example to create deepfakes more realistic.

Zao exemplifies how technology deepfake It has become not only more sophisticated, but also more accessible. The technique, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to create fake videos where people find themselves in situations they have never experienced in real life, first appeared in late 2017. Since then, Hollywood actresses have been victims of fake Porn clips, companies began to offer the service, and the US Congress created bills that criminalize the practice.

For the transformation to happen, Zao requires users to upload a personal photo to MoMo's servers. In the first version of the app, the terms and conditions of use stipulated that the company has a "free, irrevocable, permanent and transferable" license of all content generated by the user. The privacy policy generated an almost immediate reaction from the public, which left Zao's App Store page with over 4,000 negative reviews.

MoMo has updated the terms of use, stating that the app will not use images uploaded for other purposes but to improve the app and other uses approved by users. The company also added that if images are deleted by users, they will also be removed from servers. The move, however, was not fast enough: the episode earned Zao a rating of 1.9 / 5 on the Chinese App Store.

The privacy policy is reminiscent of the episode of FaceApp, an application that ages users' faces. Its terms of use were also criticized for information considered vague, which would allow the misuse of photos sent to the program. In Brazil, Google and Apple were recently fined by Procon-SP for not offering in their stores the translation of text containing controversial information about FaceApp.

Via The Verge and Business Insider

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