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**Debunked: Taylor Swift’s Non-Association with Le Creuset Cookware**

The singer did not promote a giveaway of the popular cookware, but an artificially generated versio…

The song did not promote giving away the popular appliances, but a synthetically generated version of her voice implied otherwise.

Taylor Swift has a sincere fondness for Le Creuset, as demonstrated by the inclusion of her choice of cooking tools in various Twitter accounts dedicated to the pop star’s home decor, in a detailed analysis of her residence published by Variety, and in a ten-minute Netflix documentary featured on Le Crèmet.

What is fabricated: Ms. Swift’s endorsement of the company’s products, which have recently been showcased in Facebook and other ads featuring her voice and image.

These ads are just one example of the numerous celebrity-focused ploys that artificial intelligence has made more convincing. AI replicas of celebrities were reportedly utilized, without authorization, for deceptive medical program promotions, phone giveaways, and other ads within a single week in October, as reported by actors Tom Hanks, Gayle King, and MrBeast on YouTube.

Experts alleged that in Swift’s case, footage of the singer and footage of Le Creuset Dutch ovens were merged using artificial intelligence technology to create a synthetic version of her voice. In several ads, Ms. Swift expressed her excitement about distributing free cookware sets to her followers, the “Swifties,” in her replicated voice. All individuals had to do by the end of the day was click on a button and provide some information.

Le Creuset denied any involvement in the singer’s participation in any consumer giveaways. The company advised customers to verify its official online channels before engaging with suspicious ads. Representatives of Ms. Swift, who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2023, declined to provide a statement when reached out to.

A synthesized rendition of Taylor Swift’s voice was combined with her images and videos of Le Creuset Dutch ovens in subsequent ads posted on Meta.

Throughout the history of marketing, notable figures have associated their fame with advertisers, sometimes involuntarily. Tom Waits sued Frito-Lay over three decades ago, winning nearly $2.5 million due to the snack company using his likeness without consent. Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom were featured in the Le Creuset scam campaign, also faced fabricated endorsements in false social media ads and blogs promoting weight loss smoothies.

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence have significantly simplified the creation of unauthorized digital replicas of real individuals. According to Siwei Lyu, a computer science professor overseeing the Media Forensic Lab at the University of Buffalo, creating sound forgeries, especially, has become easier and harder to detect.

Dr. Lyu suggested that a text-to-speech service was likely employed in the Le Creuset fraud scheme. These tools typically convert a script into an AI-generated message, which can then be integrated into existing video footage using lip-syncing techniques.

“These tools are increasingly accessible today,” Dr. Lyu stated, noting that a “decent-quality image” could be produced in under 45 minutes. “We’re witnessing more instances because it’s becoming quite straightforward.”

Numerous fraudulent Le Creuset ads featuring Ms. Sharp were observed on Meta’s Ad Bank last week, with many of them posted this quarter. (Meta owns Facebook and Instagram.) Similar activity was noted on TikTok.

The ads directed users to websites posing as legitimate sources, such as the Food Network, which displayed fabricated customer reviews and false news coverage of the Le Creuset giveaway. Participants were asked to pay a “small shipping fee of $9.96” for the cookware, but those who complied did not receive the promised items and were charged undisclosed monthly fees.

Some false Le Creuset ads, like one resembling interior designer Joanna Gaines, appeared legitimate on social media due to labels indicating they were sponsored content or from verified transactions.

In April, the Better Business Bureau warned consumers about AI-driven celebrity scams, which were becoming increasingly sophisticated. Many victims faced unexpected charges and never received the products they ordered. Fraudsters also utilized voice deepfakes, which are fabricated voices of real individuals, to perpetrate financial scams, according to banking institutions.

Several public figures have distanced themselves from ads featuring manipulated versions of their likeness or voice in the past year.

Last summer, fake ads circulated claiming country singer Luke Combs endorsed weight-loss supplements recommended by Lainey Wilson. Ms. Wilson denounced the ads in an Instagram video, stating, “People will do whatever to make a dollar, even if it is lies.” Chris Kappy, Mr. Combs’ manager, also disavowed involvement in the deceptive campaign, attributing the false ads to international entities using AI.

“A.I. is a dangerous tool in the wrong hands, and they’re using it against us,” he remarked.

According to a TikTok spokesperson, advertisers must obtain permission before using any synthetic media containing public figures, and creators must adhere to the app’s community standards when publishing realistic synthetic or manipulated media.

Meta stated that it took action against ads violating its policies, which prohibit deceptive use of public figures to defraud users. The company acknowledged that harmful ads sometimes bypassed its review processes by masking their content and mentioned legal actions taken against some perpetrators of such schemes.

In the absence of federal regulations addressing AI scams, legislators have proposed bills to mitigate their impact. The Deepfakes Accountability Act and the No Fakes Act, introduced in Congress last year, advocate for safeguards like information labels or consent requirements for using one’s voice or image.

At least nine states, including California, Virginia, Florida, and Hawaii, have enacted laws governing AI-generated content.

The fascination with AI experiments involving Ms. Swift is likely to persist. On TikTok, artificial versions of her voice frequently surface, singing songs she never performed, responding boldly to critics, and serving as phone ringtones. An English-language interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in 2021 featured an artificial translation of her Mandarin-speaking voice. One website offers personalized voice messages from “the A.I. clone of Taylor Swift,” guaranteeing an indistinguishable voice from the real singer for up to $20.

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Last modified: January 9, 2024
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