Are brands approaching a crisis in authenticity?

Google has demonstrated how its Duplex voice agent can successfully trick a hair salon into booking an appointment over the phone. “Deep fake” videos can now show live action footage of famous or otherwise people saying things they never said.

Fake social accounts fool fans of brands, and bots conduct text conversations in the “voice” of celebrities.

It’s not just the deliberate mislabeling of critical news as “fake news.” More and more, new technological capabilities or malicious innovations are weakening our ability to use our eyes, ears and sense of human interaction to understand when we’re talking with an actual human — and when we’re talking with an imposter.

Are we entering a crisis of authenticity for brands? Is it comparable to the days before October 30, 1938, when consumers thought everything they heard as “radio news” was real.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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