The rise of generative AI continues to spark interest worldwide as users utilize it to create engaging original content such as images, text and videos at scale.
And then, there are deepfakes.
Deepfakes, a specific application of generative AI, have gained traction, as they can be used for various purposes, including entertainment, artistic expression and even research.
The thing with these technologies is that they generate growing concerns over identity fraud because they have the potential to deceive individuals, businesses and society at large. Sure, generative AI tools can fabricate realistic content and blur the lines between what is genuine and what is artificially created.
But deepfakes involve manipulating and superimposing faces and voices onto existing content, creating convincing and oft-deceptive media.
To shed light on the potential risks posed by these emerging technologies, Jumio, a provider of automated identity proofing solutions, recently released its 2023 Online Identity Study.
Two-thirds of respondents are aware of generative AI tools capable of producing fabricated content, such as videos, images and audio, according to the study. However, they underestimate the sophistication of these technologies. Despite their awareness, around half of respondents believe they can detect a deepfake video. This overconfidence is particularly alarming since deepfakes have reached a level of realism that makes them virtually undetectable to the naked eye.
"A lot of people seem to think they can spot a deepfake,” said Stuart Wells, Jumio's chief technology officer. “While there are certainly tell-tale signs to look for, deepfakes are getting exponentially better all the time and are becoming increasingly difficult to detect without the aid of AI."
And the consequences of such deception are far-reaching. Impersonation scams, which are becoming increasingly harder to spot due to the use of generative AI tools, have cost the U.K. £177 million in 2022, according to figures from U.K. Finance. Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers in the U.S. lost $2.6 billion to impersonation scams in 2022, up from $2.4 billion in 2021.
To address these concerns, Jumio emphasizes the importance of businesses educating their customers about generative AI technologies and the limitations of human detection.
By educating customers about generative AI technologies, businesses help individuals understand the evolving nature of deepfakes and the sophistication with which they can be created. This knowledge can foster a more informed and discerning consumer base, enabling individuals to approach online content with a healthy dose of skepticism.
By emphasizing the limitations of human detection, businesses have a better chance to dispel the misconception that individuals can easily spot deepfakes. They can highlight the rapid advancements in deepfake technology and the need for additional tools and techniques, such as AI-powered solutions, to effectively identify and mitigate the risks posed by these deceptive creations.
Simply put, this comes down to transparency. By transparently communicating their efforts to detect and prevent the misuse of deepfakes, businesses build trust and confidence among their customer base. This education empowers customers to make informed decisions, encourages their active participation in safeguarding their identities and fosters a collaborative approach to combatting the risks associated with deepfakes.
That said, education alone cannot stop bad actors from abusing evolving technologies to get to their targets, as pointed out by Philipp Pointner, Jumio's Chief of Digital Identity.
"Online organizations must look to implement multimodal, biometric-based verification systems that can detect deepfakes and prevent stolen personal information from being used," said Pointner. “Encouragingly, our research indicated strong consumer appetite for this form of identity verification, which businesses should act on fast.”
As technology continues to advance, the risks associated with deepfakes and generative AI technologies become increasingly apparent. Jumio's study serves as a wake-up call to the potential dangers of deepfakes and the urgent need for comprehensive identity verification systems Consumers must remain vigilant and approach provocative content with skepticism.
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