Welcome to The Week in Generative AI, a weekly column for marketers from Quad Insights that quickly sums up need-to-know developments surrounding this rapidly evolving technology.

Celebrity deepfake videos on the rise

Celebrities from Tom Hanks to MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) to Gayle King have been making headlines recently for being featured in deepfake videos.

Derrick Bryson Taylor writes in The New York Times about how Hanks and King alerted their social media followers to fraudulent ads featuring unauthorized AI-generated likenesses of them — in King’s case, a video that had her promoting a weight-loss product using her manipulated image from a previous legitimate post, while a deepfake Tom Hanks was deployed in a separate video to promote a dental plan.

Over at CNBC, Kalhan Rosenblatt covers the case of YouTuber MrBeast and a deepfake scam on TikTok that had him seemingly offering $2 iPhones to his followers. “Although the MrBeast ad is imperfect — there are lip-sync errors at times, in which the way the mouth moves isn’t synchronized with what is being said — it underscores the ever-increasing realism AI offers, and how deceptive it is becoming,” notes Rosenblatt.

These incidents highlight growing concerns in the entertainment industry surrounding the misuse of AI. The recent Writers Guild of America strike also brought attention to AI-related concerns.

Related coverage:

“AI Deepfake Ads: Tom Hanks, Gayle King Sound Warning” (CNET)

Google Assistant adds Bard for AI-enhanced search results

In a move to stay competitive with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google has upgraded Google Assistant by adding generative AI capabilities, via Google Bard, as announced at the Pixel hardware event in New York City on Wednesday. The upgrade aims to transcend mere voice queries, embracing a multimodal approach including image understanding. Wired’s Will Knight and Lauren Goode write that “the introduction of generative AI to its virtual assistant raises questions around how quickly the search giant will start using large language models across more of its products. That could fundamentally change how some of them work — and how Google monetizes them.”

Bard-infused Google Assistant can tackle a variety of tasks, simplifying everything from trip planning to crafting catchy social media captions. The real game-changer, though, may be Google Assistant’s newfound ability to discuss the content of a webpage a user is browsing on their phone, hinting at an integrated, more interactive future for search.

Related coverage:

“Google Photos’ new AI tools are as complicated and messy as a memory” (The Verge)

LinkedIn AI updates

LinkedIn is introducing new AI features across its job hunting, marketing and sales offerings to help maintain engagement among its nearly 1 billion users. This includes an updated Recruiter platform with AI assistance, an AI-powered LinkedIn Learning coach and an AI tool for marketing campaigns called Accelerate. Previously, LinkedIn had integrated AI subtly for suggestions and insights, but is now prominently employing AI, leveraging technologies from OpenAI and Microsoft. (Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016.)

Ingrid Lunden writes in TechCrunch that LinkedIn has been “a heavy user of artificial intelligence over the years. But until recently most of that has been out of sight. Ever been surprised (or unnerved) at how the platform suggests connections to you that are strangely right up your street? That’s AI.”

Related news:

“LinkedIn adds AI tools to make recruiting more conversational” (Axios)

Further reading

“How CMOs plan to use AI in 2024” (Ad Age)

“The 10 Biggest Generative AI Trends For 2024 Everyone Must Be Ready For Now” (Forbes)

“What’s AI Actually Good for Right Now?” (Adweek)

“Anthropic in Talks to Raise $2 Billion From Google and Others Just Days After Amazon Investment” (The Information)

“Adobe teases new AI photo editing tool that will ‘revolutionize’ its products” (The Verge)

“Generative AI Is Coming for Sales Execs’ Jobs—and They’re Celebrating” (Wired)

“AI yearbook photo trend: Here’s how to get your retro ’90s high school photo” (Fast Company)

“SoftBank’s Son Says Artificial General Intelligence Will Soon Surpass Humans” (The Wall Street Journal)

“ChatGPT will ‘help us with extremely hard problems’ in the future, says OpenAI’s chief tech officer” (CNBC)

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next week.

If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to last week’s recap: “The Week in Generative AI: September 29, 2023 edition”

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