scorecardresearch

Chinese woman develops app for survivors after finding her video on Pornhub

She started working on this initiative after a video of her was put up on the popular adult website Pornhub without her consent or knowledge

The 25-year-old has stated the most efficient way to fight this issue is through facial recognition software The 25-year-old has stated the most efficient way to fight this issue is through facial recognition software

A Chinese woman has founded an app that helps victims of non-consensual pornography. She started working on this initiative after a video of her was put up on the popular adult website Pornhub without her consent or knowledge. The video of the 25-year-old was recorded without her permission and she only found out about the video after her friend informed her about it.

She has been working with a team to programme an AI-based application that would help women find content online that has their faces in it. The application, Alecto AI, has been named after the Greek goddess of fury. The app functions by scanning the user's face and then searching the web for any images that have the user's face in them.

The 25-year-old has stated the most efficient way to fight this issue is through facial recognition software. "Damage control is particularly painful [for survivors]. The infringing content is sometimes hosted on various platforms … It is difficult to search for this content scattered all over the internet while being forced to relive our trauma over and over again," the 25-year-old told This Week in Asia in an interview. The 25-year-old had asked to be identified as Tisiphone, the Greek goddess of vengeance.

"We can't defend ourselves unless we have access to technology that can help us do so," said Tisiphone. She stated that her aim is to create an app that is "powerful, unbiased and compassionate".

Tisiphone told This Week in Asia that similar existing tools have a low accuracy rate when it comes to people of colour and women. She stated that in order to make the app more useful, she has a team of five women of colour working with her on the app.

"We are disrupting not only content policy and revenge porn, but also disrupting facial recognition, making artificial intelligence more human-centred," said Tisiphone.

Discussing her past experience of finding her video on Pornhub, she said, "The incident happened maybe seven years ago. I was really young, a teenager … I had no idea that monster had secretly filmed me until I saw my video on Pornhub".

She added, "It was really devastating. I consider myself a very strong person and well educated, but that was the moment when I literally stopped and thought, 'I can't live any more. I don't want to live anymore".

Tisiphone explained that she had barely survived the ordeal. "At that time, it was for me the only way to get out of it, because I was so ashamed, and I was so scared. I felt like I was betrayed by the whole world," she added.

The 25-year-old stated that she is conscious about making the app a safe space for users' data. To this effect, she is implementing multiple security measures like biometric verification and end-to-end encryption. The app will not be saving any data on its server.

Alecto AI is expected to be launched by the end of 2021, however, the app won't be free upon release. Users will have to first pay to access the app. The founder hopes that she can make the app free-for-all in the future by getting firms like Facebook to pay for the technology.

"We are doing everything we can to protect users' privacy and make sure that it's not abused by some random third party. We will continue to enhance our algorithm to make sure it can help people," the developer said.

Also Read: Apple accused of deliberately slowing down iPhones with new iOS updates

Also Read: WhatsApp rolls out Joinable Calls feature; all you need to know