Celebrities at Risk: Scammers Exploit Deepfake Technology

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Celebrities at Risk: Scammers Exploit Deepfake Technology

With the rise of deepfake technology, celebrities are facing a new threat: scammers using their likenesses to promote products or engage in fraudulent activities. Deepfakes, which involve the use of generative AI tools to create realistic but fake images or voices, are becoming increasingly accessible and convincing. As a result, nonconsensual deepfakes featuring celebrity faces and voices are likely to spread across major social platforms.

Over the past year, there have been numerous cases of scammers using celebrity likenesses without permission to manipulate unsuspecting consumers. These scams often involve trusted celebrities falsely endorsing products or services. Just recently, Tom Hanks, Gayle King, and MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) spoke out against deepfakes featuring their images being used to promote unrelated products.

The entertainment industry is becoming increasingly concerned about the misuse of generative AI for deepfakes of celebrity voices and images. According to a survey conducted by YouGov, over 70% of industry professionals are either very or somewhat concerned about the creation of misleading voice clones or digital doubles of celebrities. This concern has grown since June, reflecting the rising awareness of the risks.

Deepfakes, along with other artificially engineered content, rank among the top concerns related to AI for the general public. A July 2023 MITRE-Harris Poll survey found that 82% of US adults were concerned about deepfakes and believed that AI technologies should be regulated. There is a strong belief that the industry should invest in AI safety measures to protect consumers. The top three concerns mentioned were AI being used for cyberattacks or identity theft, as well as the lack of accountability for bad actors.

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While deepfake scams using celebrity likenesses on social platforms are just one potential misuse case of generative AI, they have significant implications. They are likely to become more scalable and convincing as scammers gain access to powerful generative AI tools. These scams not only harm consumers but also tarnish the reputations of the celebrities involved by eroding trust.

Recognizing the growing threat, organizations like the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warnings about deepfake scams. The FTC highlighted the potential for romance scams and financial fraud to be turbo-charged by generative AI. They also warned advertisers about misleading consumers with deepfakes. However, there is still limited data on AI-enabled scams, and the consumer risk associated with deepfake scams should not be underestimated.

Consumer fraud, particularly on social media, continues to be a significant problem. Recent data from the FTC reveals that social media accounts for a significant portion of financial losses due to fraud. Scams originating from social media platforms amounted to $2.7 billion in losses since 2021, with young adults being the most vulnerable. The most frequently reported scams were related to fake or undelivered products and fake investment opportunities, but the most money was lost to investment and romance scams.

Celebrities, who have little control over the use of their deepfake likenesses, are among the most helpless victims of generative AI misuse. This lack of control has prompted many actors to seek ways to legally own, control, and protect their digital identities and likenesses. Some remedies are being developed, but their effectiveness remains uncertain.

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To combat deepfake scams, social media companies should integrate detection capabilities that automatically label and remove AI-generated material. They should also make it easier for victims of deepfake scams to report misuse of their likenesses. While enforcement can be challenging, major social platforms like Meta, TikTok, X, Snapchat, and Reddit have policies against misleading manipulated and AI-generated media.

In conclusion, the rise of deepfake technology poses a significant threat to celebrities and consumers alike. Scammers are exploiting generative AI tools to create convincing deepfakes of celebrity faces and voices, leading to fraudulent activities and scams. As the use of deepfake technology becomes more prevalent, it is crucial for both celebrities and social media platforms to take proactive steps to combat this growing issue and protect individuals from falling victim to deepfake scams.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is deepfake technology?

Deepfake technology involves the use of generative AI tools to create realistic but fake images or voices. It can manipulate and superimpose one person's face or voice onto another person's body, creating highly convincing and deceptive content.

How are scammers using deepfake technology?

Scammers are using deepfake technology to create fake images and voices of celebrities and using them to promote products or engage in fraudulent activities. They often manipulate unsuspecting consumers by falsely endorsing products or services through these deepfakes.

What are the concerns of the entertainment industry regarding deepfakes?

The entertainment industry is concerned about the misuse of generative AI for deepfakes of celebrity voices and images. There is growing worry that misleading voice clones or digital doubles of celebrities can be created, leading to reputational damage and erosion of trust.

What are the general public's concerns about deepfakes?

The general public is highly concerned about deepfakes and other artificially engineered content. AI-related concerns, including deepfakes, ranked high among the public's worries. They believe that AI technologies, including generative AI, should be regulated to protect consumers from cyberattacks, identity theft, and the lack of accountability for bad actors.

How do deepfake scams on social media affect celebrities and consumers?

Deepfake scams on social media harm both celebrities and consumers. Celebrities have little control over the use of their deepfake likenesses, which can lead to reputational damage. Consumers can fall victim to scams, financial fraud, or be deceived into purchasing unrelated or fake products endorsed by manipulated deepfake content.

What efforts are being made to combat deepfake scams?

Organizations like the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warnings about deepfake scams. Social media companies are urged to integrate detection capabilities to automatically label and remove AI-generated material. Major platforms have policies against manipulated and AI-generated media and make it easier for victims to report misuse of their likenesses.

How can individuals protect themselves from deepfake scams?

Individuals can protect themselves by being cautious of unfamiliar promotions or endorsements from celebrities on social media. If unsure about the authenticity of a promotion or endorsement, it is advisable to research independently or verify with official sources. Reporting any suspected deepfake content to the respective social media platforms can also contribute to reducing the spread of scams.

Can celebrities legally own and protect their digital identities and likenesses?

Celebrities are seeking ways to legally own, control, and protect their digital identities and likenesses. Some remedies are being developed, but their effectiveness is still uncertain. The lack of control over the use of deepfake likenesses has prompted many actors to take proactive steps to safeguard their digital identities.

What are the financial losses associated with social media scams?

According to recent data from the FTC, social media scams have led to significant financial losses. Since 2021, scams originating from social media platforms amounted to $2.7 billion in losses. Fake or undelivered products and fake investment opportunities were the most frequently reported scams, with the most money lost to investment and romance scams.

What role do social media platforms play in combating deepfake scams?

Social media platforms have a crucial role in combating deepfake scams. They should integrate detection capabilities to identify and remove AI-generated material. By implementing policies against manipulated and AI-generated media, making it easier for victims to report misuse, and actively enforcing these measures, they can help protect users from falling victim to deepfake scams.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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