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Google has changed its terms resulting in Deepfakes being unable to train on Google's Colab anymore

Over the last few weeks, Google has cleverly changed its terms and conditions to exclude the training of Deepfakes on its platform, Colaboratory.

The news came around last Tuesday, 24th May, when a screenshot capturing the new ban was circulated. However, this certainly does not mean the ban was imposed that particular day. The previous screenshot featuring no such ban was captured on 14th May, which means this silent update took place somewhere in the 10 days in between.

Amongst the two most famous Deepfake codes, only one has been targeted by this ban - the DeepFace Lab (DFL). Faceswap managed to escape Google's ban this time, which we speculate might be due to the app's high popularity among the local netizens. The ban on DFL was recognized when running DFL on the Colab resulted in warnings from the platform, threatening to be kicked from the platform were they to continue with their actions.

When the FaceSwap code was used on Colab, it resulted in no such warnings, meaning that the ban had not reached FaceSwap yet. This goes ahead to show that DFL is the most dominant DeepFake code hence is the only one targeted with the ban.

When asked to comment, DFL's team reacted with how saddened they were that their creation was not being used appropriately and had to be banned. They also commented on how bad they felt for the 'right' audience that they would not be able to access such resources free of cost.

Also, Google Colab indicated that this wasn't the only restriction on the site, nor are free users the only ones to whom these restrictions apply. Restrictions are applied to paid users as well, although the nature of the restrictions might differ. These include restrictions on cryptocurrency mining and peer-to-peer sharing. We also stumbled across a huge secret in the free-paid fiasco. Everything that is banned on the free side is allowed on the paid side, except for those things that are mentioned to be restricted specifically on the paid side.

Although the ban on Colab does seem like a step taken for the greater good, it is a huge loss to DeepFake trainers. These trainers have invested a lot over the years to learn more about the hobby. Enthusiasts have even bought heavy technologies worth a lot. With such a humongous investment, we cannot imagine how fumed DeepFake trainers might be at this discovery, to have GPUs worth that much just go to waste.

We believe Google took this step for the better, however, we do expect the tech giant to come up with an alternative for these enthusiasts to practice on without breaking any rules.


Illustration by pikisuperstar / freepik

H/T: Unite AI

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