AI-generated Taylor Swift ad sweeps the internet as celebrity deepfakes become more common

Not even Taylor Swift can escape the imminent dangers of artificial intelligence and deepfake technology.
Not even Taylor Swift can escape the imminent dangers of artificial intelligence and deepfake technology. | Evan Agostini, Associated Press
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Not even Taylor Swift can escape the imminent dangers of artificial intelligence and deepfake technology.

A recent video featuring an AI likeness of Swift endorsing Le Creuset cookware products is circling the internet. Some Swifties have been duped by the scam, reports The New York Times.

The fraudulent ads, which have made the rounds on Facebook, use an AI version of Swift’s voice and appearance. In the ad, AI Swift claims she is giving free Le Creuset cookware sets to her “loyal fans.” Viewers are prompted to click on a button and answer a few questions in order to receive the free cookware set — any personal information entered is stolen by the scammers.

Le Creuset says it has no involvement in the ads, reports The New York Times. Representatives for Swift have not provided comment on the videos.

Celebrity deepfake scams become more common

Celebrity deepfakes are gradually finding their way into advertising and media. In April, the Better Business Bureau warned consumers of a “rise in deepfake scams and ever-improving AI technology.” This technology creates deepfakes of “well-known and trusted celebrities” who give “phony endorsements.” These scams are now “more convincing than ever.”

“Before you make a purchase, take a minute to reexamine the post and social media account,” the Better Business Bureau advised. “The photos and videos are most likely fake. If you make a purchase, you’ll lose money (often more than you expected) on a product that is substandard or doesn’t exist.”

In recent years, several public figures have openly distanced themselves from ads featuring their AI-generated voice or likeness. Oprah Winfrey expressed frustration over the prevalence of fraudulent ads in 2022, when a fan asked her about weight loss gummies.

“It’s come to my attention many times over, somebody’s out there misusing my name, even sending emails to people, advertising weight loss gummies,” she said in an Instagram video. “I don’t want you all to be taken advantage of by people misusing my name.”

Journalist Gayle King asked her fans not to “be fooled” by AI-generated advertisements of her promoting a weight loss product.

“They’ve manipulated my voice and video to make it seem like I’m promoting it,” King wrote in an Instagram post in October. “I’ve never heard of this product or used it!”

In June, fake ads of country singer Luke Combs promoting a weight loss product began spreading online. In the ad, a fake Combs claims he was recommended the product by fellow country singer Lainey Wilson. Wilson denounced the ads in an Instagram video, saying: “Surprise. It ain’t true. People will do whatever to make a dollar, even if it is lies. ... I don’t want y’all spending money on something that ain’t real.”

The ads were also shut down by Combs’ manager, Chris Kappy. “These companies are out of the country and are using AI to create ads using the likeness of Luke and other celebrities,” Kappy wrote on Instagram. “AI is a scary thing and they’re using it against us.”

Hollywood strikes address fears over AI

Fears over the invasion of AI was a major motivator for the historic Hollywood strikes in 2023. Both the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers were striking in part for “protections against the use of artificial intelligence,” per CNBC.

Agreements that ended the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes both addressed growing concerns over AI, with some protections put in place, as reported by the Deseret News.

“I think SAG-AFTRA has kind of drawn a line in the sand as far as some of the first regulations on AI in entertainment and it’s kind of this sticker shock for everybody, like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is something that we have to think about,’” SAG-AFTRA strike captain Iris Liu told Rolling Stone at the conclusion of the 118-day strike.

“I think we all need to direct our collective energy toward fighting for government regulation on this so that not only SAG-AFTRA actors are protected, but everybody, our whole world. We all need protection from misinformation.”

AI could bring stars back posthumously

Even the most sought-after Hollywood stars have considered how AI could impact their careers.

In October, Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks issued a warning to his fans when an AI version of himself promoting a “dental plan” began circling the internet.

“Beware!!” Hanks began his warning via Instagram. “There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.”


Hanks previously addressed the unfolding potential of deepfake technology creeping into the creative world during an appearance on “The Adam Buxton Podcast.” After his death, he could still appear in movies, Hanks explained.

“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on,” Hanks said. “Outside the understanding of AI and deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge but it’s also a legal one.”

“Without a doubt, people will be able to tell (that it’s AI), but the question is, will they care? There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”

AI resurrections aren’t yet commonplace in Hollywood, but they have happened in a handful of recent Hollywood blockbusters.

The late Paul Walker made a posthumous return to the “Fast and Furious” film franchise in “Fast X.” Carrie Fisher was revived through AI for an appearance in “The Rise of Skywalker.” Bruce Lee, Audrey Hepburn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter Cushing and Oliver Reed have all returned to the screen posthumously.