Prashant Kumar

What is Deepfake And Which Celebrities Have Fallen Victim To It?

In an era where technology evolves rapidly, the rise of artificial intelligence has brought both awe-inspiring advancements and ethical dilemmas. Among these, the emergence of “deepfake” technology is a controversial and potentially dangerous development, particularly in its implications for public figures and celebrities.

What is Deepfake?

Deepfake denotes an AI-driven method that creates synthetic media by merging human characteristics onto another individual’s body or altering sounds to produce a convincing human-like experience. Actor Val Kilmer, who lost his distinctive voice due to throat cancer in 2015, recently had his voice synthesized using Sonantic’s deepfake technology, leading to an emotional response from his son upon hearing his father’s “voice” again.

Beyond this, deepfakes have been employed to overcome language barriers, as seen in English soccer legend David Beckham’s campaign for Malaria No More. Utilizing deepfake technology, Beckham delivered his message in nine different languages. Additionally, deepfakes have been used for playful purposes, such as in an art installation that allows users to take a whimsical selfie with Salvador Dalí.

Celebrities Who Fell Victim To Deepfake

Tom Hanks, an American actor and film producer, recently alerted his 9.5 million Instagram followers about an AI-generated advertisement without authorization for a dental plan featuring his likeness. Hanks cautioned his fans to be vigilant, expressing his disapproval by sharing a screenshot of the unauthorized computer-generated image.

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Jimmy Donaldson, popularly known as Mr. Beast on YouTube, was trapped in misleading AI-driven advertisements on TikTok. A fabricated video falsely promised viewers $2 iPhones, using Donaldson’s image without consent.

Kristen Bell, an American actress, renowned for her role as the voice of Anna in Disney’s ‘Frozen,’ was distressed to discover that her image had been manipulated and used in inappropriate content on the internet. This disturbing revelation was brought to her attention by her husband, Dax Shepard, causing her a sense of violation.

Rashmika Mandanna, upon the circulation of a manipulated video featuring her on social media, expressed deep concern and discomfort. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), she highlighted the fear and vulnerability that arise from the spread of deepfake videos, emphasizing the misuse of technology and its potential for harm.

Scarlett Johansson, American actress, one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, faced the issue when her likeness was manipulated into adult films. Despite the legal obstacles, she highlighted the daunting task of taking action against these AI-generated videos due to the vast expanse of the internet and the complexities involved in combating such content.

Morgan Freeman, an American actor and film producer, was featured in a remarkably convincing deepfake video that digitally recreated his image, causing a stir. The video, crafted by a Dutch deepfake YouTube channel, showcased Freeman explaining that he was a digital creation, not the real actor, showcasing the remarkable advancements in manipulation technology.

 Robert Pattinson, renowned for his portrayal of Batman, became a victim of deepfake when videos resembling him surfaced on a parody TikTok account. Pattinson expressed apprehensions about this technology, acknowledging the blurred boundary between reality and deepfake content, sparking concerns about the future of identity and employment.

What Is Deepfake Used For?

While deepfake technology initially gained traction in entertainment and creative realms, its potential for misuse has prompted increased scrutiny, advocating for establishing ethical guidelines and regulatory measures to address associated risks and consequences when manipulating digital media.

The foundational technology behind Deepfakes holds promise for positive societal impact within digital media. Consider an HBO documentary spotlighting the lives of LGBTQ+ activists living in secrecy due to the threat of execution. To safeguard these activists’ identities, the documentary employed deepfake wrappers. These wrappers, reviewed by the director, featured LGBTQ+ activists residing in safe countries, thus shielding their identities. Additionally, deepfakes have empowered the creation of distinct and personalized voices for the vast population reliant on synthetic speech for communication.

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