Using a page straight out of the KGB playbook, a new AI-driven disinformation attack has been unleashed. The latest victim of this disturbing trend is none other than the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Here’s more about how AI was misused to create a fake news campaign targeting one of the most well-known sporting bodies in the world.
A “documentary” series, fabricated using advanced AI, featured the voice of Hollywood star Tom Cruise. However, it was all an illusion. The voice, the allegations, the purported documentary titled “Olympics Has Fallen” – none of it was real. This series alleged corruption at the heart of the IOC, a claim that has since been debunked but not before causing significant ripples.
What makes this incident particularly alarming is the sophisticated use of AI to clone celebrity voices. This is not just about the IOC or the Olympics; it’s a glaring example of the ethical and legal challenges posed by AI. The misuse of the voices of celebrities like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, and Scarlett Johansson shows a liability of the entertainment industry – the unauthorized and unethical use of AI for social engineering.
The attack surfaced date-coincident with the IOC’s suspension of the National Olympic Committee of Russia over geopolitical tensions, particularly the recognition of regional sports organizations in disputed Ukrainian territories. The timing of this disinformation campaign is an orchestrated effort to leverage high-stakes global events to influence public opinion.
The IOC, in response, has been proactive in denouncing these AI-generated deepfakes and has advised media representatives to confirm the authenticity of such content with their Press Office. Despite their efforts to remove the content from platforms like YouTube, it found a haven on a Telegram channel, showing it’s very difficult to control the spreading disinformation across the internet.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the double-edged nature of AI. While AI has the potential to revolutionize our world in positive ways, its misuse can lead to significant consequences. For organizations like the IOC, it’s a wake-up call to the new-age threats they face – where the battleground is not just physical but increasingly digital.
For all of us today it’s another reminder to stay vigilant, develop a healthy sense of skepticism, and validate the source and truth of what we see online, especially when it sounds controversial and/or sensational. It’s critical to develop a strong security culture.
PS: Here is a Wikipedia background article that goes into the detail of Russian psychological warfare.
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