Chinese App that Allows Users to Impersonate People on Video Goes Viral But Users Worry About Privacy

Impersonation of Leonardo DiCaprio, Zao app, Youtube
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Chinese face-swap app, Zao, rocketed to the top of app store charts over the weekend, but user delight at the prospect of becoming instant superstars by inserting their faces into famous movies and memes quickly turned sour as privacy implications began to sink in. The machine learning technology underpinning deepfakes can impersonate famous personalities and politicians and make them say whatever the aspiring faker types. US politicians hope to regulate this emergent misinformation threat ahead of the 2020 elections.[But who will regulate the politicians who will want to use it?] -GEG

Chinese face-swap app Zao rocketed to the top of app store charts over the weekend, but user delight at the prospect of becoming instant superstars quickly turned sour as privacy implications began to sink in.

Launched recently, Zao is currently topping the free download chart on China’s iOS store. Its popularity has also pushed another face-swap app, Yanji, to fifth place on the list. Behind Zao is a company fully owned by Chinese hookup and live-streaming service Momo Inc. President Wang Li and co-Founder Lei Xiaoliang, according to public company registration documents.

Users of the app upload a photo of themselves to drop their likeness into popular scenes from hundreds of movies or TV shows. It’s a chance to be the star and swap places with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Leonardo DiCaprio or Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory in a matter of moments.


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Chinese App that Allows Users to Impersonate People on Video Goes Viral But Users Worry About Privacy | WeAreChangeTV.US

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