Civitai, an online marketplace for sharing AI models, has introduced a new feature called “bounties” to encourage its community to develop deepfakes of real people. The best AI model receives virtual currency called “Buzz” that users can buy with actual money.
Many bounties on the site ask users to recreate the likeness of celebrities and social media influencers, mostly female. The majority of these results are deemed “nonconsensual sexual images.” This has been proliferating across the internet for years, but artificial intelligence allows for a more realistic end result. Some requests even target private individuals with no significant online presence, making it even more creepy.
Michele Alves, an Instagram influencer with a bounty on Civitai, expressed fear about the potential of this technology. According to market firm, Civitai is the seventh most popular generative AI platform. Staffers at 404 Media found images sent via a bounty request to a private person with personal social media accounts with just a few followers. The person who posted the bounty claimed it was his wife, but her social media accounts said otherwise.
One Civitai user declined a bounty due to legal concerns. Virginia just passed a law to punish deepfake creators with up to one year in jail. However, this particular request was fulfilled, though the images uploaded to the site were non-sexual in nature.
Very few of the bounty requests specifically state that they are looking for sexual material, often using vague language. However, some are explicit, using terms like “degenerate request” along with comments on female breast size. Civitai claims that bounties should not be used to create non-consensual AI-generated sexual images of real people. Nevertheless, both sexual images of public-facing figures and non-sexual images of regular people are allowed, leaving the potential for combining the two. 404 Media used the company’s text-to-image tool to create non-consensual sexual images of a real person “in seconds.”