This latest AI scandal might be the most absurd I've seen so far. In a recent ad circulating on social media, popstar Taylor Swift was seen promoting a giveaway for Le Creuset cookware – a collaboration that the brand has since denied.
While AI can help improve our lives, rapid artificial intelligence advancements also allow deepfake scams to become increasingly sophisticated. So to clarify, no, that wasn't Taylor flogging a few spare casserole dishes, it was a deceptive (and slightly ridiculous) AI scam.
McAfee Advisory! No, That’s Not Taylor Swift Promoting Le Creuset Cookware.If you see this video in your social media feed, we can confirm that it is a #deepfake scam generated through #AI.McAfee's Project Mockingbird technology announced at #CES2024, is designed to empower… pic.twitter.com/aVpcjI0PgkJanuary 10, 2024
With a crafty blend of deepfake technology, old footage and text-to-speech software, the fraudulent ads produced a somewhat convincing result that could easily deceive an unsuspecting fan. “Hey y’all, it’s Taylor Swift here," the fake Taylor says in a monotonous voice. "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,” she adds.
While it might seem strange, it's not a completely far-fetched collaboration, as Swift previously flexed her Le Creuset crockpot in the Miss Americana documentary. She's also not shy of a brand collaboration, previously partnering with companies like CoverGirl and Coca-Cola. While those of us who are more familiar with AI-generated content might identify the video's robotic twinge, these scams aim to play on vulnerable fans, scamming them for money with a Swiftie facade.
With Meta's celebrity AI chatbots blurring the lines between celebs and the public, it feels like we're edging closer to a parasocial crisis, creating an environment ripe for fraudulent scams. At least now that the Swift scam has been debunked we can see the more ridiculous side. For more AI news, take a look at the bizarre AI human generator that's astounding (and a little terrifying).