Deepfakes give business execs a break

Accounting firm EY has started using deepfakes as a regular part of business.

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Deepfakes give business execs a break


Future. Accounting firm EY has started using deepfakes as a regular part of business, allowing employees to be in several places at once — or just to make routine communications more interesting. While some employees are voicing professional and ethical concerns, more and more companies and personalities are adopting the tech. Looking ahead, less interactive communications may soon go on AI-autopilot.

Phantom pitch
EY (formerly Ernst & Young) employees are multiplying thanks to AI-powered deepfakes.

  • EY is using deepfake tech to give presentations, “spice up” emails, or even deliver pitches in a different language (as the company did for a Japanese client).
  • EY employees can now expand their reach beyond temporal and physical restraints, creating multiple personalized videos in minutes.
  • The deepfakes, dubbed “artificial reality identities (ARIs),” are made using a tech developed by U.K. startup Synthesia.

Amazingly, Synthesia’s cloning tool is remarkably simple to get up and running:

“The subject sits in front of a camera for about 40 minutes, reading a special script. The footage and audio provides Synthesia’s algorithms with enough examples of a person’s facial movements and how they pronounce different phonemes to mimic their appearance and voice. After that, generating a video of a person’s ARI is as easy as typing out what they should say.”

Clone CEO
EY says that the deepfakes aren’t meant to “fool” viewers that they’re watching a genuine person, and that they’re hoping for a“geez, isn’t that neat” reaction. Still, not all of the company’s employees are in love with the practice, with some worrying that “the technology could eventually devalue the human element in their jobs.”

EY stresses that the use of the tech is strictly monitored and protected, and employees must explicitly provide consent before making the AI doubles.

It’s understandable why the use of deepfakes courts so much controversy. Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, delivered part of a recent keynote address through a CGI replica, and Bruce Willis is allowing a Russian phone company to use his likeness for commercials.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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