Let me paint you a picture.


You are a Taylor Swift fan. You enjoy her music, have bought all of her albums, and own every piece of exclusive merch ever made. Every day starts with her songs and her tweets online. To you, her existence is the only thing you believe in. One day you notice that Taylor has decided to take a break from live appearances due to health issues. You don’t make much of it, as long as her music is good, it’s fine. Your idol can take all the time she needs. Her songs make you laugh and all of her posts light you up. Even if you can’t see her live, her online presence is enough to make your day! But, as time passes, you slowly start to get suspicious. Her tweets start making less sense, her albums aren’t releasing as fast as they used to, and why has she stopped posting pictures on Instagram? 


Suddenly one day, a year later, you read the devastating headline: “Diva Dead! Taylor Swift’s Body Recovered After 1 Year! Label admits to using Ai DeepFake Online!” You watch the story unfold in horror as you realize that this entire time, the account of your idol was being managed by an intricate AI bot.


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the golden era of digital immortality. Where anyone can be alive as long as you’re willing to let them. If you thought medicine or an ancient Chinese grandma was going to give you the key to never-ending life then you were wrong. AI is not just coming for your jobs and money but also your identity too! And this entire scenario isn’t as make-believe as you think. In China, several startups have already come up with ways to make holo-live avatars of your deceased loved ones, so that they can attend their own funerals.

Several students from many esteemed universities have already created convincing deep fakes of people long past, such as Micheal Jackson, John F Kennedy, and even other locally esteemed figures. Some of these videos, despite being fake, could very well alter the images that these figures have in society. As a matter of fact, if you look at Twitter there are already plenty of AI-generated images of celebrities like Elon Musk, AOC, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Beyonce, Rihanna, and many others, putting them in highly compromising positions.


And the worst part is that people are making money off of this. There are countless websites online that claim to let you chat with your favorite celebrities, at an excessive fee, only to reveal that there is no celeb chatting with the customer. All of the text is generated by a very clever AI.

With the immense amount of image and text data available online, it has become easier than ever to impersonate and downright steal someone’s identity online. While some of these uses may be therapeutic, the larger ethical implications of being able to regenerate an entire person’s personality online are still to be discussed. Should an agency still be allowed to make use of someone’s identity and face after they have passed, for money? How safe is it to allow this technology to grow unchecked? What kind of safety rules will social media companies introduce to stop such malicious online behavior?


In a survey released by analysts, it was shown that more than 48 million accounts on Twitter could be run by bots. While this is only 15% of the total user base, the fact that this number is growing day by day is not a welcoming sight. If so many monetizable accounts are run by bots, what is stopping companies from taking access to dead people’s accounts and using an AI to bring them back to life? What is stopping malicious individuals from mass-building profiles and monetizing them using AI? 

At what point should we draw the line? Should we as individuals wait as AI gives rise to a new wave of identity theft? Who will safeguard our information while we browse the web?


In fact…what makes you sure that this article was written by me? 

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