When tech goes bad: Celebrities and the dangers of deepfake technology

Find out how the use of deepfake technology is causing celebrities distress and bringing up important ethical issues in the digital era, as seen in the cases of Scarlett Johansson and Rashmika Mandanna.

By  Varun ShethMay 22, 2024 5:36 PM
When tech goes bad: Celebrities and the dangers of deepfake technology
The recent controversy around Scarlett Johansson's artificial intelligence (AI) voice resemblance highlights the widespread danger that deepfake technology poses to prominent personalities. (Image sourced via Forbes)

Artificial intelligence breakthroughs have given rise to deepfakes, which can produce realistic-looking but completely fake material. Although there are innovative and entertaining uses for this technology, its abuse has created serious moral and legal issues. Deepfake deceptions have made celebrities in particular great targets, with potentially disastrous consequences for both their personal and professional life. The recent controversy around Scarlett Johansson's artificial intelligence (AI) voice resemblance highlights the widespread danger that deepfake technology poses to prominent personalities.

The video that started the deepfake controversy featured British-Indian influencer Zara Patel, whose face had been Photoshopped to seem like actress Rashmika Mandanna. Following the outcry caused by the viral video, Mandanna expressed her extreme distress. Her comment brought to light the horrifying consequences of deepfake technology. Similar to this, there have been concerns raised regarding the improper use of deepfake technology in the entertainment business when an altered photo of Katrina Kaif from her upcoming film "Tiger 3" appeared online.

Hollywood legend Tom Hanks was forced to post a caution on social media earlier this month over the usage of an AI-generated image of himself in a misleading dental plan advertisement. Hanks stressed in a post to his 9.5 million Instagram followers that his picture was being used without permission.

Despite legal obstacles, Scarlett Johansson encountered deepfake issues when her face was transformed for pornographic films. She acknowledged the difficulties in taking legal action against these AI-generated movies and emphasised the size of the internet and the difficulties in policing content of this kind. Johansson had yet another incident lately when her vocal resemblance appeared in OpenAI's ChatGPT 4.0 system. This time, she filed a lawsuit, which ultimately forced OpenAI to remove the voice.

Jimmy Donaldson, better known online as Mr. Beast, was the target of a dishonest TikTok advertisement that used fraudulent AI to promise viewers $2 iPhones. This instance demonstrated how frauds linked to deepfake may propagate bogus information and trick viewers into accepting fictitious claims. Donaldson's experience shows how deepfakes may be used in scams, making attempts to oversee and regulate the technology even more difficult.


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First Published on May 22, 2024 5:36 PM

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