The ZDF presenter Christian Sievers discovered an apparently AI-generated video on Facebook in which a virtual doppelganger advertises a scam. “The guy looks like me, sounds (almost) like me. But it’s not really me… not really,” he wrote to Sievers on the short message service X/Twitter, where he shared a recording. “Bad new world,” he says, criticizing the fact that Facebook has only shrugged its shoulders. It is still clear that he is not really that, Sievers told heise online, “but for the future a shiver runs down my spine.” Society has to find a way to deal with it, “otherwise it will be a problem not just for TV presenters, but for all of us.”
Not a new phenomenon
The recording At first glance shows the beginning of an issue of the “heute-Journal” on ZDF with a panning shot to the presenter Christian Sievers. In a somewhat low resolution, he then begins to speak in a deceptively real-sounding voice and his typical speaking style about a thing that supposedly changes everything. It quickly becomes clear that this is not a real recording, because the fake Sievers speaks of an “AI-supported investment platform” with which you can earn “at least” 15,000 euros a month. The real Sievers sees platforms like Facebook as having a duty to block such content, otherwise we would all have a problem. According to its own information, ZDF has requested that the specific video be deleted. “Defend the beginnings,” demands Sievers.
The video is apparently a fake created using AI technology. Such deepfakes already existed before the current hype about AI generators, but creating them has now become much easier. As early as 2019, an advertising agency created a video in which Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was told unflattering words that he would probably never say. Nevertheless, Facebook has not deleted the film to date, and it is unclear whether it will now comply with ZDF’s request. But here comes the fraudulent intent. The technology now available is now being used, for example, to clone the voices of world-famous singers for use in new songs.
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