Cabaero: AI to fool consumers

Cabaero: AI to fool consumers

We have read and seen the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for disinformation that is political in nature. Now, what we’re seeing is the use of AI to fool people into getting products.

What happened to two GMA News anchors whose television personas were used in videos posted on Facebook purportedly to promote the distribution of a religious item is an example of this.

GMA News reported that videos of its anchor Ivan Mayrina and host Susan Enriquez were faked to make them appear to be promoting the free distribution of “Mama Mary necklaces” that supposedly came from the “Mama Mary Shrine” in the Vatican. These videos were posted on social media to fool the public, it said.

AI must have been used to manipulate the voices and images of Mayrina and Enriquez. The GMA report said the voices in the video may sound like the two, but the movement of the mouth was not in sync with what was being said.

The incident shows how AI is being used not only for political disinformation but also for marketing and commercial purposes to fool consumers. The most the television network could do was call out the scam to warn the public and to seek action from the social media platform. More is needed to stop this misuse of AI.

Regulation is tricky when it comes to this new technology as even regulators are still trying to grasp AI and the ways to control it. New legislation is also still under study. However, there are existing laws that may apply to address the grievances of GMA News, except the challenge is to determine who was responsible for the video’s creation and uploading. The network said it is working with the platform and with other organizations that could help it run after those responsible for the fraud.

If GMA News can be victimized, what more other people who are without the backing of a corporate giant and whose faces and voices could be manipulated by illegal actors to fool others or violate their rights?

AI is known to be a powerful tool for content creation and efficiency in processes. But it is also used for deception and other purposes as AI continues to evolve. It can clone voices, manipulate images, create fake reviews and testimonials, and do phishing scams and deepfakes.

The measures to curb the use of AI to deceive consumers can take on multiple approaches. Be wary of incredible marketing claims. Content producers should stick to ethical ways, be transparent about their use of AI-generated material, and place watermarks or identifiers to help trace the origin. Organizations and individuals suspicious of what they see may use AI-generated tools to detect deepfakes or manipulated content. Then, there are fact-checking platforms and verification systems to check the authenticity of online content.

While at times we feel helpless about AI, there are measures we can take to counter the risks.


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