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Ads Employ A Voice Clone Of A BBC Presenter

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The well-known BBC presenter and environmentalist Liz Bonnin was the target of an unlawful exploitation of her voice and likeness via artificial intelligence (AI) recently. An insect repellent spray commercial purportedly had Bonnin’s support, but in reality, the voice was produced via AI-generated voice cloning technology. When Bonnin’s management team saw that her face was being used in web advertisements without her permission, they became aware of the problem.

The campaign’s sponsor, Incognito, was duped by con artists imitating Bonnin’s voice with artificial intelligence and providing fictitious endorsements. Howard Carter, the CEO of Incognito, thought he was speaking with Bonnin directly since the con artists gave him believable voicemails and contact information that appeared to be from her. Based on these contacts, a contract was signed and money was transferred. Later on, though, it became clear that AI-generated impersonations, not Bonnin, were the ones that facilitated all of the contacts.

This abuse of AI technology raises important moral and legal issues, especially with relation to permission and the possibility of lying. When approached through unofficial routes, Bonnin herself acknowledged that she felt violated and stressed the need for caution.

The wider ramifications of this technique are significant because voice cloning can be utilized for more detrimental intents like fraud and disinformation in addition to fabricating false endorsements. This instance emphasizes how urgently regulatory actions are required to address the problems that sophisticated AI technologies in media and advertising are posing.