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  • Mal McCallion

AI Avatars: The Future of Corporate Comms or a Misinformation Tool?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Meet Erica, Dr. Dass, Jason, and Gary. They're not your usual estate agents, in fact, they're not even real. They're deepfakes, digital humans for hire, courtesy of Synthesia, a London-based generative AI company. With a simple type, click, and "generate," these AI avatars can be your next corporate trainers or presenters, adding a dash of glamour to your PowerPoint presentations.

Sounds fun, right? But there's a twist. These deepfakes have been caught spreading disinformation and executing crypto scams. As the use of generative AI becomes more mainstream, businesses need to determine their responsibility in preventing misuse.

Synthesia's CEO, Victor Riparbelli, is at the forefront of this challenge. His vision for these avatars is to transform them into a dynamic alternative to traditional corporate communication tools. However, the misuse of these avatars by bad actors has raised ethical concerns.

The company's avatars, available in different genders, skin tones, and uniforms, have been used to impersonate news anchors on social media, spreading false information. In response to these issues, Synthesia has increased its content moderation team and moved moderation to the point of creation, blocking users from creating content that violates its terms of service.

The journey of Synthesia's deepfakes from corporate communication tools to instruments of disinformation is a cautionary tale for the estate agency industry. As we embrace AI and its potential, we must also be vigilant about its misuse.

So, next time you're considering spicing up your company handbook or training session, remember Erica, Dr. Dass, Jason, and Gary. They're ready to help, but they also serve as a reminder of the ethical considerations we must navigate in the AI era.

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