Washington State Lottery’s AI Experiment Ends Abruptly After Producing Topless Image of User

Posted on: April 9, 2024, 09:30h. 

Last updated on: April 10, 2024, 11:21h.

The Washington State Lottery’s experimentation with generative AI has come to an abrupt end after its new promotional app generated an unsolicited topless photo of a customer.

Washington Lottery, Test Drive a Win, topless image, porn
A heavily censored version of the image the “Test Drive a Win” app created for Megan, as published by KTTH. (Image: KTTH)

The lottery has now pulled its “Test Drive a Win” app after just one month because of the offending image.

As part of the promo, the lottery invited customers to take or upload selfies of themselves, which the app would then use to generate images of the user in exotic locations as if they had won the jackpot.

Pornographic deepfakes weren’t part of the deal, however, and a 50-year-old mother from Turnball, Wash., was shocked to see her head superimposed on a mostly naked body.

AI Gone Mad

The woman, who gave her name only as Megan, called local radio station KTTH to complain about the app and to demand the firing of “whoever was responsible.”

“Our tax dollars are paying for that!” she told the station, missing the point about lotteries.

Megan said she had asked the app to depict her fantasy vacation, which involved her swimming with sharks. Instead, she was presented with an image of her head imposed on a woman with her breasts exposed.

The woman, who was wearing nothing but floral bikini bottoms, was sitting on a bed that appeared to be inside a fish tank as goldfish float by. The image is stamped with the Washington Lottery logo.

While this may be some people’s idea of a fantasy vacation, it wasn’t Megan’s.

“I was completely shocked. It’s disturbing, to say the least,” she explained.

‘Strict Parameters’

The Washington Lottery said in a statement that it acted swiftly to pull the app after Megan’s call to KTTH.

“Prior to launch, we worked closely with the developers of the AI platform to establish strict parameters to govern image creation,” the lottery said. “We were made aware that a single user of the AI platform was purportedly provided an image that did not adhere to those guidelines.

“This campaign was launched more than a month ago and has had thousands of images created that all fall within the prescribed guidelines. Regardless, one purported user is too many, and as a result we have shut down the site,” the lottery added.

It’s not the first time that a company eager to jump on the generative AI bandwagon has been humiliated by its own technology’s off-color content, and not even the tech giants are safe.

Last year, it emerged that Meta’s AI sticker generator for its Facebook Messenger app was creating alarming content around children’s cartoon characters. This included Mickey Mouse brandishing an AK-47, and Elmo from Sesame Street with a bloodied machete.