AI-Manipulated Media Through Deepfakes and Voice Clones: Their Potential for Deception

DeepfakeResearchers at Pindrop have published a report looking at consumer interactions with AI-generated deepfakes and voice clones.

“Consumers are most likely to encounter deepfakes and voice clones on social media,” the researchers write. “The top four responses for both categories were YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. You will note the bias toward video on these platforms as YouTube and TikTok encounters were materially higher. Granted all of these platforms have video, but two use the media exclusively. Movies, the news media, and television followed closely behind Facebook and Instagram.”

Respondents were more likely to come into contact with a video deepfake on social media than a voice clone.

“[D]eepfakes experience exceeds voice clones for all top media sources which suggests that consumers were more likely to experience deepfakes across multiple channels,” the researchers write. “It also may reveal that many people know of voice clones but have not personally encountered them. Consumers were more likely to encounter voice clones on audio channels such as Spotify and phone calls. They were also significantly more likely to have created their own voice clone.”

One revelation from the survey was the difference in awareness levels among respondents. Only 54.6% of those surveyed in the United States knew what a deepfake was, while awareness of voice clones stood at 63.6%. The awareness of both phenomena exhibited a gradual decline as age cohorts increased, with a sharper drop for deepfakes.

“Deepfake and voice clone awareness declines gradually as age cohorts rise up to 60 years, and then falls off precipitously,” the researchers write. “The decline is more extreme for deepfakes. While the difference between the 18-29 and 45-60 cohorts is just over four percentage points for voice clones, it is nearly 10 percentage points for deepfakes. Similarly, deepfake awareness drops by twenty-four percentage points between the 45-60 and the 61+ age cohorts, while it is only about ten percentage points for voice clones.”

Pindrop's research underscores the nature of AI-generated deepfakes and voice clones, particularly in the realm of social media. The findings also shed light on the differences in consumer experiences and awareness levels, revealing that video deepfakes dominate encounters, and awareness declines as age cohorts rise. As technology continues to advance, it's important for us to understand and tackle the challenges posed when cybercriminals use these tools to make social engineering attacks more convincing.

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