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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeTechnologyPiers Morgan and Oprah Winfrey 'deepfaked' in US influencer's advertisements

Piers Morgan and Oprah Winfrey ‘deepfaked’ in US influencer’s advertisements

Celebrities such as Piers Morgan, Nigella Lawson, and Oprah Winfrey have spoken out against the use of AI deepfake technology in online advertisements endorsing a self-help course by US influencer Wesley “Billion Dollar” Virgin. The adverts featured manipulated footage and faux endorsements from these celebrities, giving the impression that they supported Virgin’s “Genie Script” manifestation course. The course, priced at $37, claimed to hold a “missing” Hebrew Bible scripture that could supposedly change lives, blending pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, and the misuse of celebrity likenesses to attract desperate customers.

While the deepfake adverts have been taken down, the issue of manipulated media raises concerns about the misuse of AI and digital forensics. Prof Hany Farid from the University of Berkeley noted that as the technology to create fake audio and video content improves, detecting such deepfakes becomes increasingly challenging. The fabricated endorsements by celebrities like Piers Morgan and Nigella Lawson have sparked conversation about the potential negative impact on unsuspecting consumers who may fall for these misleading advertisements.

Despite the backlash from celebrities and subsequent action taken by platforms like YouTube, Wesley Virgin has not addressed allegations surrounding his business practices. The incident sheds light on the ethical and legal implications of deepfake technology in advertising and emphasizes the need for more stringent regulations to protect consumers from deceptive practices in the digital age. Celebrities have also voiced their concerns over the unauthorized use of their likenesses to promote products they have no affiliation with.

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