AI generated deepfakes are becoming increasingly common online and pose an “ominous” threat to business and government security, warns GlobalData analyst Amy Larsen DeCarlo in an industry update posted on 4 October. 

Despite AI providing promising use cases for businesses and government bodies worldwide, DeCarlo warns that this technology can be used to impersonate company executives and to spread misinformation online. 

Exemplifying this, DeCarlo points to CBS Mornings host Gayle King whose likeness was recently used in a deepfake video online to promote weight loss pills without her knowledge or permission.  

DeCarlo also references to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) report into the threat of deepfake media. 

As detailed in this report, advances in AI have made it possible for AI generated content to be produced and distributed on a scale that was previously unimaginable. 

The global AI market is, as written in the report, “flooded” with free online generative tools that have lowered the barrier to entry to cybercrime. 

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By GlobalData

This may explain why recent research has suggested a rise in AI generated content being used in social engineering attacks via email and voicemail. 

In spite of this rise in attacks, research analyst GlobalData still forecasts that the global AI market will be worth $336bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 31.6%. 

Furthermore, GlobalData surveys suggest that businesses are steadily increasing their use of generative AI, with 50% of businesses describing AI as a disruptive technology in their sector as of August 2023. 

In the same survey, however, around 49% of respondents answered that they only partially understood how generative AI worked. 

Incorporating AI into business workload whilst employees, at any level, have only a partial understanding of how that technology works could heighten risks to businesses as companies rush to incorporate AI tools into their services. 

“With the 2024 presidential election looming,” DeCarlo states, “the expectation is there will be an even greater proliferation of deepfakes to spread misinformation and disinformation.”