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Is it Legal to Have an AI Doppelganger?

The advancement in AI technology has posed certain risks and threats regarding personal identity and ethical safety.

One such phenomenon is the rise of AI doppelgangers, which are your digital look-alikes and may even exist in the online world without your knowledge. Here, we’ll explore if it is legal to have an AI doppelganger.

AI-generated look-alikes are created using advanced AI technology, such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), and raise serious questions about identity security and personal privacy. The current legal frameworks struggle to address such unique issues.

Due to the lack of updated regulations to protect individual rights amidst the surge in hyper-realistic AI pictures, your data and digital identity are at severe risk.

Is it Legal to Have an AI Doppelganger

What is an AI Doppelganger?

An AI Doppelganger is someone who appears just like you but isn’t related and is created using an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm. This AI-generated face is a lifelike and hyperrealistic interactive model that is almost like your digital twin.

With the evolution of AI algorithms to generate faces, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are exploring limits and real people are being created digitally. This comes with both pros and cons, with the latter outnumbering the former currently due to inadequate regulatory norms.

What started as generating digital art for fun using AI models has now turned into a critical threat of AI twins existing in a separate online space without a user’s knowledge.

How are AI Doppelgangers Created?

The beginning of generation of AI doppelgangers started with the creation of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) in the mid-2010s. It was introduced to make digital art with two neural networks competing against each other.

One generated images and the other evaluated the realism of the outcome. This technology gradually evolved beyond art with enhancements in computer vision systems, and constant data feeding and realistic simulations for AI training.

Eventually, the application of GANs achieved new heights after the software developer and creator of ThisPersonDoesNotExist Phillip Wang used an Nvidia AI labs model to train the algorithm with more than 70,000 high-resolution images. This helped the tool generate faces that are impressively original and authentic.

In a nutshell, your digital uploads provide the raw material for AI learning. These images are tagged and categorized to be prepared for the next stages and then fed to algorithms like GANs. The AI models progressively learn to recognize and replicate human features to create new, unique faces, which sometimes could be highly similar to real people.

AI Doppelganger

Is it Legal to Have an AI Doppelganger?

It’s completely legal to have an AI doppelganger of yourself or someone else as long as you are not using it to impersonate anyone else without their consent. The current legal systems are not good enough to counter unwanted direct replication of original creations.

For instance, the outdated copyright laws in the United States allow unauthorized AI-generated content to go untested in courts. Famed actress Scarlett Johansson faced the consequences of weak laws against AI-generated replications as an AI app named Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar used her doppelganger to promote their application without seeking her consent.

The European Union (EU) also has a Copyright Act but it lacks specific provisions related to the ownership of AI-generated content. Beyond legal adversities, digital doppelgangers also pose ethical complications leading to crucial risks to privacy, security, and freedom.

Risks of Having an AI Look-Alike

The rapid increase in AI doppelgangers brings along several risks of their misuse. Most significantly, unauthorized use of someone’s digital look-alike for advertisements and political campaigns is inevitable, unless strict laws against this are introduced globally.

Bad elements can use digital doppelgangers to impersonate someone leading to scams and fraudulent activities. AI-generated look-alikes can be used to impact the personal and professional reputations of people, which calls for serious regulations against such heinous deeds.

There have been numerous instances of people using highly realistic deepfakes to spread misinformation or to diminish the reputation of others by making them involved in controversial events in which they never actually participated.

Another potent threat of AI doppelgangers is that they can be used to unlock digital accounts or access a secure facility, which could lead to identity theft, stealing of sensitive information, data loss, and even financial loss.

What is AI Doppelganger

How to Protect Yourself From AI Doppelgangers?

While the world continues to develop and implement strong regulations against AI-generated content, it’s essential that you learn how to protect yourself from the dangers of digital look-alikes. Here are some measures you can follow:

  • Don’t upload photos and personal information on the internet unnecessarily as it can be used to train AI models.
  • Keep reviewing and restricting app permissions on your mobile, tablet, or PC. Also, make sure any software doesn’t access your camera or microphone secretly.
  • Remove any old accounts and photos from your social media profiles that are no longer required on the web.
  • Use data masking tools to tweak your photos before you put them online, so AI systems can’t use them to generate accurate digital twins.
  • Advocate for better policies against the misuse of AI-generated content globally.
  • Educate others about the potential risks of hyperrealistic AI faces.
  • Keep an eye out for your name and your images on search engines to find out if they ever appear in unauthorized contexts. You can set up Google Alerts for this.

These are some of the precautions you can follow to stay safe from your AI doppelgangers.

Final Thoughts

AI-generated doppelgangers can have critical risks and the policies to counter them need to be addressed. Amidst plenty of threats persisting due to the evolution of AI models to generate hyperrealistic content, there are some good use cases for the technology as well.

The digital twins can be put to positive use for education or to provide mental support to people in need. There are other benefits of the groundbreaking progress of AI-generated content but it depends on how the technology is regulated and used by the masses.

For now, it’s better to stay cautious of your digital twins created by AI that may exist without your information or consent. Once there is a proper set of guidelines to counter the legal and ethical risks involved, only then you can befriend your AI doppelganger.

That’s it from your side. What do you think about your digital AI twin’s existence? Is it good or scary? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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