Sarah May
January 14, 2024

AI-generated scam unmasked involving fake image, voice of Taylor Swift

Fans of pop superstar Taylor Swift may have been taken by surprise recently by a social media advertisement in which she appeared to be promoting pricey cookware, but in reality, was a computer-generated fake, as Fox News reports.

The episode has drawn renewed attention to the ability of artificial intelligence to produce highly convincing, yet deceptive imagery capable of facilitating all manner of fraudulent activity.

Swift scam revealed

At issue was a spot for high-priced kitchenware from Le Creuset which seemed to feature Swift's image and voice and offered individuals an opportunity to benefit from a merchandise giveaway.

In the video at issue, the voice that appears to come from the Eras Tour superstar opens by saying, “Hey you all, it's Taylor Swift here.”

“Due to a packaging error, we can't sell 3,000 Le Creuset cookware sets, so I'm giving them away to my loyal fans for free,” the voice, purported to be that of Swift, went on.

Though the advertisement was removed from Facebook, the entire scenario shines a spotlight on how effective AI-generated fakes can be in terms of mimicking voices and images of celebrities for the purpose of facilitating all sorts of questionable endeavors.

Le Creuset responds

The luxury cookware brand told Fox News Digital that it had not been involved in the creation of the advertisement and neither had Swift.

A statement from the company said, “Le Creuset is not involved with Taylor Swift for any consumer giveaway. All approved Le Creuset giveaways or promotions come from the official Le Creuset social accounts.”

Offering some sound advice for social media users everywhere, the company added, “Consumers should always check Le Creuset's official social accounts and website before clicking any suspicious ads.”

Proliferation of frauds

As Fox News noted separately back in October, legendary Hollywood actor Tom Hanks also found himself the victim of a similar scam, with an AI-generated likeness of the star having appeared in an advertisement for a dental insurance program.

In that case, Hanks himself took to social media to disclaim any involvement with the product at issue, saying, “BEWARE!! There's a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”

Efforts are reportedly afoot to offer victims some degree of legal recourse under such scenarios, with a “No Fakes Act” having been proposed as a discussion draft in the U.S. Senate which would provide a right to control one's image and voice and to control digital replicas, violations of which would be subject to monetary fines. A companion measure was introduced in the House just last week.

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