What HR Leaders Need to Know About Deepfake AI Videos at Work

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What HR Leaders Need to Know About Deepfake AI Videos at Work
Photo Credits - Igor Omilaev via Unsplash

In our digital age, the rise of deepfake AI tools has opened Pandora’s box of possibilities. From eerily realistic impersonations to sophisticated scams, we examine one company’s encounter with advanced technology.

As we explore the world of deepfakes, we discover not only the dangers but also the solutions. Join us as we dissect what deepfake technology entails and its potential real-world applications. We uncover the workplace challenges it presents and, crucially, how HR strategies can counter this looming threat.

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Company Dodges Deepfake AI Phishing Ploy Impersonating CEO

LastPass, the password management application used by millions worldwide, has alerted businesses globally about the increasing use of deepfake AI. They issued the warning after scammers attempted to impersonate Karim Toubba, LastPass’ CEO, but failed in their phishing efforts.

Without concrete knowledge, it’s believed the fraudsters compiled audio of the CEO from YouTube to almost perfectly duplicate his voice. Fortunately, the targeted employee became suspicious when he received the communication via WhatsApp outside of usual working hours.

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WhatsApp communication was atypical within the company, and the messages contained a sense of urgency, common with such scams. Consequently, the employee disregarded the correspondence and altered the company’s digital security team, preventing a potential data breach.

Despite no data being compromised, LastPass wanted to share the incident with businesses worldwide. By alerting companies of the phishing attempt, they hope to raise awareness of deepfake AI tools and prevent similar scams.

Peering Behind the Mask: Deepfake Technology and its Perilous Pathways of Misuse

From manipulating audio to generating a completely new deepfake video, the technology is a form of generative AI. As the name suggests, the media produced is fake. However, as the technology’s intelligence continues to advance, the replications are becoming increasingly flawless, often blurring what’s real.

A widely shared instance involved the creation of a video where Barack Obama calls Donald Trump a “Dipsh*t”. Elsewhere, deepfake AI tools were misused to generate a near-perfect audio clip of Labour Party leader Keir Starmer berating his colleagues with expletives.

The Challenges of Deepfake AI at Work

AI tools can create near-identical counterfeit media, posing challenges in the workplace. Therefore, it’s imperative for businesses to fully grasp the potential risks they may encounter in order to combat them effectively.

First, con artists may attempt to elicit funds or sensitive information from employees by impersonating their seniors. LastPass’s brush with scammers was an example of this, highlighting the extreme measures these individuals will take to trick workers.

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Moreover, as exemplified by the fabricated content featuring Barack Obama, AI videos at work could introduce its own risks. Social media allows news to spread fast and bad publicity even faster. If a compromising deepfake video of a company were to get out, it could cause catastrophic damage to its reputation.

Finally, deepfake AI has been legitimately used to simulate realistic scenarios for workplace training. Although this has proved useful, the use of the same should be done so with caution. That’s because it has been called into question whether the use of the technology compromises an employee’s privacy.

Confronting AI in the Workplace

Given the diverse hurdles posed by deepfake AI, it’s crucial for HR to take proactive measures. Following the recent phishing attempt experienced by LastPass, prioritising staff training becomes indispensable for companies. Without employees being vigilant about suspicious correspondence, a significant security breach could easily unfold.

Furthermore, to safeguard a brand’s reputation, company personnel should maintain vigilant online monitoring. Swift detection of deepfake media enables companies to quickly remove it and issue a public statement clarifying that it’s forged. Such proactive measures minimise the reach of fake media and mitigate its detrimental impact on the brand’s reputation.

Finally, companies must enact robust policies and guidelines to clearly establish how AI in the workplace will be used ethically. When implemented effectively, these frameworks enable organisations to harness deepfake AI without compromising privacy concerns.

If you have any employment law questions or issues associated with generative deepfake AI, contact Redmans Solicitors now. They are employment law specialists and could discuss your circumstances before advising on how you could proceed.

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