BBC presenter voice clone used in ads

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Liz Bonnin, a well-known BBC presenter and environmental advocate, recently became the subject of an unauthorized use of her likeness and voice through AI technology. An advertising campaign for an insect repellent spray featured what appeared to be Bonnin's endorsement, which was actually created using AI-generated voice cloning technology. This incident came to light when Bonnin's management team noticed her face being used in online advertisements without her consent. The company behind the campaign, Incognito, was misled by scammers who used AI to mimic Bonnin's voice and provided fake endorsements. The CEO of Incognito, Howard Carter, believed he was interacting with Bonnin herself, as the scammers provided convincing voice messages and contact details purportedly from her. A contract was signed and a payment was made based on these communications. However, it was later revealed that all interactions were facilitated by AI-generated impersonations and not by Bonnin. This misuse of AI technology highlights significant ethical and legal concerns, particularly regarding consent and the potential for deception. Bonnin herself expressed that the incident felt like a violation and emphasized the importance of vigilance when contacted through unofficial channels. The broader implications of this technology are profound, as voice cloning can be used not only for creating misleading endorsements but also for more harmful purposes such as fraud and misinformation. This incident underscores the urgent need for regulatory measures to address the challenges posed by advanced AI technologies in media and advertising.
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