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Study Reveals Consumer Overconfidence in Spotting Deepfakes, Highlighting Need for Enhanced Online

The Jumio 2023 Online Identity Study sheds light on consumer awareness regarding generative AI and deepfake technologies, emphasizing the potential for these technologies to accelerate identity fraud. The research also highlights the necessity for digital identities in online verification and authentication. However, it reveals that consumers often overestimate their ability to detect deepfakes, leaving them more susceptible to fraudulent attacks.


The comprehensive study surveyed 8,055 adult consumers, evenly distributed across the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, and Mexico. The results indicated that approximately 67% of respondents were aware of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Lensa AI, which can create fabricated content, including images, videos, and audio. Notably, consumer awareness was highest in Singapore, with 87%, and lowest in the UK, with 56%.


One concerning aspect highlighted in the study was that 52% of respondents believed they could identify a deepfake video. However, this perception of confidence contradicts the reality that deepfake technology has advanced to a level where visual detection is challenging for the unaided eye. This overestimation is troubling given that impersonation scams cost the UK £177 million in 2022, according to UK Finance. Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission reported that US consumers lost $2.6 billion to impersonation scams in 2022, highlighting the growing threat of deepfake-based fraud.


Jumio's data further reveals an increase in the utilization of sophisticated deepfakes across various sectors worldwide, with a particular focus on payments and cryptocurrencies. Stuart Wells, Jumio's Chief Technology Officer, cautioned consumers by stating, "While AI-powered technology will increasingly be required by businesses to spot and protect their networks and customers from deepfakes, consumers can protect themselves by treating provocative images, videos, and audio with skepticism."


The study also highlights a growing understanding among consumers about the potential harmful uses of generative AI and deepfakes, particularly regarding identity theft. Over half (57%) of respondents believe that online identity theft will become easier due to these technologies, with consumers in Singapore displaying the highest level of awareness (73%). However, understanding decreases among consumers in Mexico (62%), the US (49%), and the UK (43%).

Jumio's Chief of Digital Identity, Philipp Pointner, emphasizes that organizations have a responsibility to educate customers about generative AI's intricacies to establish realistic expectations regarding deepfake detection. Pointner further advises online organizations to implement multimodal, biometric-based verification systems that can detect deepfakes and prevent the misuse of stolen personal information. Encouragingly, the study revealed that over two-thirds (68%) of consumers are open to using digital identities for online verification. Key sectors where consumers prefer digital identities over physical ones include financial services (43%), government (38%), and healthcare (35%).


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