AI: Scammers use names, photos of celebrities to sell products

14 Jan 2024 12:30pm
Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) president Zed Zaidi said the most common victims (of AI) now were local celebrities.
Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) president Zed Zaidi said the most common victims (of AI) now were local celebrities.

SHAH ALAM - The sophistication of technology today not only brings benefits to users but also exposes society at large to cybercriminals.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, provided opportunities for cybercriminals like scammers to use the faces and voices of others to make profit easily.

The most common victims now were popular local celebrities.

This was revealed by the Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) president Rozaidi Abdul Jamil or better known as Zed Zaidi.

Zed said although AI was a new advancement, if not controlled, it will bring problems to many parties.

"There are already celebrities who complain that their faces and voices are used as the 'faces of ads' for a certain product, even though they are not directly involved with the product.

"If you think logically, no famous artists would tarnish their image by selling underwear. A popular artist must want to maintain their image and reputation.

"However, some are not aware of becoming victims, but it is the fans or netizens who realise this," he told Sinar.

Related Articles:

Zed added that, even worse, some people believe in the ads by buying the products and indirectly benefiting the company that sold them.

"Whether they received the prroduct or not, I am not sure, but they indirectly benefit that company. However, the artists used as the faces for those ads do not receive any benefit," he said.

He said that Seniman did not plan to take further action but suggested Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo to do something about this.

"If this case involves many artists and the artists come to Seniman for follow-up action, only then can we propose it. If it involves one or two, Seniman can only speak out, and they are the ones who need to take follow-up action like filing police reports and so on.

"If AI is not controlled, and at the same time, AI have improvements, it is not impossible that more criminal cases will occur.

"For this reason, the ministry should also take appropriate action to curb it before it becomes widespread," Zed said.

The 43-year-old actor also reminded the public not to casually browse applications that use AI to prevent their faces from being used illegally.

"Nowadays, many applications can change our faces to look older, younger and more. To use these applications, you have to agree to the terms and conditions; without us knowing, these applications take our facial data.

"If you look outside the country, many parties do not agree with this AI because it has stolen our facial data. If in the past people worried about addresses, phone numbers, now we have to worry about our faces being used without our knowledge," he said.

Zed, through the TikTok application, revealed that some celebrities have become victims of AI when their faces and voices were used to promote the sale of underwear.

In the comment section, several users admitted to having seen Datuk Aaron Aziz and Lisa Surihani promoting products such as shoes and so on.

However, after careful observation, their faces seemed to have been edited and the voice was not their real voice.

Singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza also revealed that she had been a victim of scammers when her video was edited and her voice was imitated to promote bedspreads.