The Power of TayTay

Only a few months ago I wrote about the incredible proliferation of Taylor Swift and her music. Her business acumen has propelled her into superstardom. But last week a flood of AI-generated fake sexually explicit material of Swift was posted all over Twitter X. It's a reminder that this happened to one of the most powerful entertainers out there. Even she can still fall victim to terrible people, predictably doing terrible things with bullshit-spewing AI tools. Jess Weatherbed at The Verge has more.

One of the most prominent examples on X attracted more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and hundreds of thousands of likes and bookmarks before the verified user who shared the images had their account suspended for violating platform policy. The post was live on the platform for around 17 hours prior to its removal.

But as users began to discuss the viral post, the images began to spread and were reposted across other accounts. Many still remain up, and a deluge of new graphic fakes have since appeared. In some regions, the term “Taylor Swift AI” became featured as a trending topic, promoting the images to wider audiences.

The Verge

This continues to put more 'proof in the pudding' that AI is being brought to the masses in a completely unrestricted and unstructured way. Company after company are attempting to incorporate it into its products. The training data is all done with stolen copyrighted material. Multiple versions of AI are being developed to compete, the biggest two are from OpenAI and Google. But the outcomes of what is happening to Swift are far from unpredictable. We all knew this was going to happen to someone at some point. The fact that it's Swift who's the first notable victim, again, isn't a surprise. But think of the possible thousands of ordinary people (let's face it, likely women) who have likely been victims for months or a year-plus by people we will never hear about. Women who's rights to privacy and to not have their faces pasted onto ai-generated adult material without consent are simply ignored because "move fast and break things" is the mantra of Silicon Valley these days.

Even more comical is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella going onto NBCNews to be interviewed about this. The full interview can be viewed here, but I'll save you the time: he says nothing concrete about anything nor does he commit to doing anything about this situation. It's a whole lot of hand-wavey BS. His answers consist of improving AI safeguards and that “it behooves us to move fast on this.” Specifically with Swift's situation his answer is “Absolutely this is alarming and terrible, and so therefore yes, we have to act.”

Ya think?

The CEO of a company that is the majority investor in bullshit-spewing AI is 'alarmed and thinks it's terrible' that absolutely predicable things would happen with said bullshit-spewing AI.

Taylor Swift is lucky to have endless money, an army of fans to fight for her cause, and a hell of a business sense to retain control of everything she does. If there's someone to fight the fight and put all these companies in its place, it is Swift. And as we've seen before, she will not back down.

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