- A yacht party organiser has been outed as an artificial intelligence scammer after potential VIP customers noticed ‘freaky’ fingers in promotion photos
- Latest mainland racket involving AI highlights limits of even the best proponents of the technology
An advertisement for a high-end yacht party which offered VIP “personal maid” services has been revealed as a scam which used artificial intelligence-generated images of women as publicity material.
The promotion of a “deluxe” yacht party on the Jinji Lake in eastern China’s Jiangsu province attracted the attention of many people with the promise for a select few customers of a one-on-one waiting service from “maids” for a seemingly reasonable 3,000 yuan (US$430).
A number of potential customers scanned the QR code on a promotional poster, got in touch with the party organiser and received a package of 43 portraits of “maids”.
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It contained a selection of women dressed in erotic outfits to choose from.
As well as the exclusive maid service, free drinks and snacks, a performance by a professional DJ and “interactive games” were also offered as part of a five-hour party which would end at midnight on February 25.
Queries asking if other – more risque – “services” would be available from the “maids” were met with a simple “no”.
The organiser stipulated that those lucky enough to successfully sign up for the VIP treatment – only six such places were available – would have to pay an up-front deposit of 50 per cent of the full price.
However, when interested parties took a closer look at the women’s portraits, they discovered that they were fakes generated by AI technology, the Shanghai Morning Post reported on February 21.
Despite the realistic looking faces and background settings used in the images, many of the women in them had fingers either missing or freakishly out of shape.
Generating images using text-to-image AI models such as Midjourney, Dall-E 2 and Stable Diffusion has been popular among tech lovers in China in recent months.
In AI circles, it is common knowledge that even the most advanced image generating systems can easily mess up with fingers despite being able to create quite realistic faces and body shapes.
A spokesperson at Stable Diffusion explained to BuzzFeed News in February that this is because “human images display hands less visibly than they do faces” within the AI datasets.
One online observer commented wryly: “When you are going to lose your mind seeing pretty girls’ images generated by AI, just count their fingers”.
The police said they had spoken to the unidentified yacht party organiser and the matter had been “settled”.
On February 21, anyone scanning the QR code on the poster saw an announcement declaring that the party had been cancelled following “education” by the police.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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