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Deepfake influencers are among us already. Can you spot them?



Deepfake influencers coming to India - The Reelstars

Make way for the deepfake influencers. For the last one year, Artificial Intelligence has been making alarming inroads into the creative landscape of social media in India. More specifically, it has enabled a host of anonymous folks to create Instagram handles that steal content from popular creators and swapping their faces with an AI generated face.

A detailed report by Decode, part of the Boomlive team, has unveiled just how this is being done. Taking the example of ‘Ira Sharma’, an Instagram handle with 2,60,000 followers, the report deconstructs exactly how anonymous handles are able to get away with the deepfake forgeries using face swap technology.

The idea behind it is simple – such deepfake influencers make money for the people behind these ventures through paid brand promotions on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. These deepfake influencers, says the report, are a small but growing subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or virtual influencers that have been around since the last few years. In these handles, the entire content is lifted from authentic creators’ pages and repackaged with a new face, which isn’t a real face but an AI entity.

Decode traced at least three videos, which the account plagiarised and morphed with a generative-AI face, that could be traced back to other women and teenage content creators on Instagram. It also quoted Pushti Shah, a Vadodara based creator with 24,200 followers, one of the creators whose videos were morphed.

Decode also got Professor Mayank Vatsa at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur to analyse the videos, and the analysis determined that all the samples were manipulated or edited and that there were several inconsistencies in each of them.

AI influencers versus deepfake influencers

The field of influencer marketing has been disrupted in a major way since last year with the arrival of Kyra, India’s first virtual influencer. Kyra is already working with brands like Indyverse, BoAt and others and was voted AI Creator of the Year at the NDTV awards last year. Naina, on the other hand, is a brand ambassador for Fikaa, an AI-powered investment app for women. She recently launched her own podcast, ‘The nAIna Show’ that airs on YouTube and features in-depth and insightful interviews with some of the most celebrated personalities in the entertainment industry including Sobhita Dhulipala, Sanya Malhotra, Richa Chadha, Saiyami Kher, Esha Deol, Hansika Motwani, to name a few. Fashion retailer brand Myntra has also launched Maya, calling her Myntra’s first virtual trendsetter, who models Myntra products on its social handles.

Deepfakes need to be tackled

The difference, as the Decode report points out, is that the AI influencers clearly disclose their synthetic/virtual nature, and their content is not plagiarised from someone else’s work. Platforms like Instagram need to implement tech solutions that prevent misuse of content. It is however not so easy. Decode has unearthed YouTube tutorials in Hindi on how to create your own AI influencer to earn money off Instagram through brand promotions. Free online image generators and AI model hosting sites are easily available online for anyone to indulge in deepfake influencing. The report says that it isn’t just social media enthusiasts but some social media marketing agencies too who are indulging in such generative AI plagiarism. Decode also found nine other linked Instagram accounts using variations of the username Ira Sharma and posting the same deepfake content. The main handle me_ira.sharma was also tagging some of the fake accounts in its Instagram Stories. A tenth account, created in January 2021, and using a different fake alias – Ishita Choudhary, was also posting the same videos, the Decode report says.

Interestingly, Ira Sharma already has 260k followers, in spite of not being a real person, and ranks much ahead of Pushti Shah, who has 24.2k followers. Fans of the deepfake influencer are apparently unaware of Ira’s digital origins and each of her videos rakes in anywhere between 50k and 200k likes and an average of 500 comments. Ironically, her bio says she is ‘a normal girl’ but also that she is ‘not real (alien). Anyway, do her fans care?


Threads Ups the Ante on Fact-Checking Before US Elections



adam mosseri - the reel stars

Threads, the app owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), is taking a big step towards combating misinformation ahead of the crucial US presidential election in November. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri recently announced the rollout of a dedicated fact-checking program for the platform.

Breaking Free from Piggybacking:

Previously, Threads relied on fact-checking efforts from its bigger siblings, Facebook and Instagram. However, this new program empowers independent fact-checkers to directly review and rate content on Threads, offering a more targeted approach to tackling misinformation within the app. Prior to this update, Threads relied on “inherited” fact-checks from Facebook and Instagram. This meant identifying and removing “near-identical false content” that had already been flagged on the other platforms.

Transparency Curtain Remains:

While Mosseri confirmed the rollout, details remain under wraps. Specific launch dates and geographical coverage haven’t been disclosed. It’s also unclear which independent organizations are partnering with Meta for this initiative. Hopefully, Meta will provide further clarity soon.

A Balancing Act?

Threads, unlike its main competitor Elon Musk’s X, has a history of prioritizing casual, non-political content. Mosseri previously reasoned that the potential downsides of political content, such as increased scrutiny and negativity, outweigh any potential benefits in terms of user engagement or revenue. This stance was further emphasized by the decision to remove political content recommendations from both Threads and Instagram in February.

Meta’s commitment to a dedicated fact-checking program for Threads suggests a potential shift in its approach. It remains to be seen if this signifies a broader change for the platform or remains focused on the upcoming US elections.

Unanswered Questions on India and Beyond:

Another uncertainty lies with the program’s geographical reach. Will it cover India, currently Meta’s largest user base and a country with its own ongoing national elections? Threads previously faced controversy in India when Instagram removed a hate speech video posted by Prime Minister Modi’s party.

The rollout of a dedicated fact-checking program on Threads is a significant development for the platform, particularly in the context of the upcoming US elections. Increased transparency and clearer communication from Meta regarding program specifics and reach will be crucial to ensure its effectiveness.

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Google I/O 2024: Everything You Need To Know




Google’s annual developer conference, I/O, just wrapped up, and this year’s event was all about artificial intelligence (AI). From CEO Sundar Pichai’s opening remarks to the final presentations, the focus was firmly on Google’s advancements in AI, particularly its flagship project, Gemini.

Unlike previous I/O keynotes that featured hardware reveals or teasers, this year’s event steered clear of any physical product announcements. Anticipation was high for a glimpse of the Pixel 9 series or the Pixel Fold 2, but Google remained tight-lipped on that front.


The keynote showcased how Google is weaving AI into its various products and services. Here are some of the key announcements:

Key Takeaways from Google I/O 2024

Google Lens Gets a Video Search Upgrade

You can now search using video recordings with Google Lens. Simply record a video of something you want to find information about, ask a question, and Google’s AI will scour the web for relevant answers.

Search Gets Smarter with Gemini

Google Search is receiving an AI boost with features like AI Overview for faster answers, intelligent travel itinerary creation, and the ability to use video for problem-solving.

Gemini Helps You Mine Your Photo Library

A new feature called “Ask Photos” allows Gemini to answer your questions about your Google Photos library. Imagine asking it to find your license plate number, and Gemini not only providing the number. Besides, but also showing you a picture of your car for confirmation!

Gemini 1.5 Gets Faster and More Capable

Google introduced Gemini 1.5 Flash, a new AI model optimized for quicker responses on specific tasks. Additionally, enhancements were made to Gemini 1.5 to improve its translation, reasoning, and coding abilities. The context window size, which determines how much information Gemini can process, has also been doubled.

Gemini Joins Your Workspace

As mentioned earlier, Gemini 1.5 Pro is being integrated into the Workspace suite. This essentially transforms it into a powerful assistant within Workspace. Moreover, allowing you to fetch information from your Drive, write emails based on documents you’re working on, and set reminders for important emails.

Project Astra: A Glimpse into the Future

Project Astra represents Google’s vision for a future where AI assistants can not only understand us but also take actions on our behalf. It’s the technology behind many of the impressive demos showcased at I/O. Furthermore, it hints at a future where AI assistants become true partners in our daily lives.

Veo Takes Video Creation to New Heights

Google unveiled two new AI models for creative pursuits. Veo can generate realistic 1080p videos based on your text prompts, while Imagen focuses on creating images from textual descriptions. Similar to OpenAI’s Sora, Veo is a generative AI model that creates 1080p videos based on various prompts. It offers a variety of styles and allows for customization through additional prompts. Google is already offering Veo to some YouTube creators and is even pitching it to Hollywood for use in films.

Introducing Gems: Custom Chatbot Creation

Similar to OpenAI’s GPTs, Gems empowers users to customize Gemini’s responses and areas of expertise. This means you can create a personalized chatbot that serves as your running coach, therapist, or anything else you can imagine (for Gemini Advanced subscribers).

Overall, Google I/O 2024 was a clear indicator of the company’s commitment to AI development and its integration into various products and services. From smarter assistants to AI-powered content creation tools. However, Google is making significant strides in the field of AI, and its impact on our daily lives is only set to grow.

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Everything We Know About OpenAI’s Free & Faster GPT-4o



openAI's mira murati presenting chatgpt-4o - the reel stars

The world of artificial intelligence just got a whole lot more exciting! OpenAI has unveiled GPT-4o, a revolutionary advancement that promises to bridge the gap between humans and machines. This isn’t just an upgrade; it’s a game-changer, making the power of GPT-4 available to everyone.

Watch the OpenAI Live Stream here:

ChatGPT-4o is Free for Users

Remember when cutting-edge AI features felt like a luxury behind a paywall? Well, those days are over! GPT-4o brings the previously restricted capabilities of GPT-4 to free users of ChatGPT. This opens a world of possibilities for everyone, from casual users to creative professionals.

Seeing, Hearing, Feeling: GPT-4o’s Multi-Sensory Intelligence

Imagine a conversation with a computer that not only understands your words but also your emotions. GPT-4o boasts unprecedented speed and agility, allowing it to process information across text, audio, and video in real-time. Whether you’re seeking solutions or simply having a chat, GPT-4o adapts to provide a natural and intuitive experience.

New Desktop App and Revamped Web UI

OpenAI understands that user experience is key. That’s why they’ve launched a brand new desktop application for ChatGPT, making it easier than ever to access this powerful tool. Additionally, the web UI has been revitalized, providing a more seamless and user-friendly interface.

From Content Creation to Language Learning

OpenAI isn’t just about flashy demos; they’re committed to empowering users. GPT-4o boasts enhanced international language capabilities, allowing it to understand and respond in a wider range of languages. Plus, the ability to upload images, audio, and text documents opens doors for creative endeavors, analysis, and effortless translation.

OpenAI Prioritizes Responsible Development

OpenAI is taking a responsible approach to AI development. Features are being rolled out gradually to ensure safe and ethical implementation. We saw this commitment during the live demonstration, where researchers interacted with the AI voice model. From generating a heartwarming bedtime story to tackling a math equation with clear explanations. Furthermore, GPT-4o showcased its versatility and potential to be a valuable companion in learning and exploration.

GPT-4o Reads Your Emotions

The future of AI is emotional! Researchers tested GPT-4o’s ability to read emotions by asking the AI to analyze their facial expressions. The response? “Happy and cheerful with a big smile and maybe even a touch of excitement.” This glimpse into emotional intelligence hints at a future where AI companions can not only understand our words but also our feelings.

The Future of AI Assistants: OpenAI and Apple Join Forces?

While OpenAI celebrates the success of GPT-4o, rumors continue to swirl about a potential search product to rival Google. However, CEO Sam Altman has confirmed that the focus here is on “new stuff we think people will love!” That “new stuff” might include a groundbreaking partnership with Apple. Reports suggest OpenAI is close to integrating its cutting-edge AI features into the iPhone operating system. Besides, potentially revolutionizing Apple’s voice assistant offerings and providing users with a more advanced and intuitive experience.

Legal Considerations in AI Development

As OpenAI forges ahead, it also faces legal challenges from publishers. Moreover, media outlets concerned about copyright violations during AI training. These lawsuits raise important questions about responsible AI development and data usage.

One thing is clear: the future of AI is here, and GPT-4o is at the forefront. With its focus on democratization, advanced capabilities, and responsible development. However, GPT-4o promises to reshape the way we interact with technology and the world around us. This is just the beginning of a fascinating journey, and we can’t wait to see where GPT-4o takes us next!

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