Generative AI is coming for influencers and reviews

An AI made this review for an imaginary product. The photo is DALL-2. The text is GPT-3 Chatbot

If you thought fake reviews on Amazon were bad, wait til we get deep fake reviews. Brands are already experimenting with generative AI as alternatives to paying real models and influencers. As the technology becomes an order of magnitude better and more accessible we’ll see a wave of artificial creators in our ad feeds and AI content masquerading as human user-generated content. never ages, never gets in scandals, and is not human.

As a shopper, I don’t have the patience to inspect product review videos for deep fake telltales, and existing ecommerce review platforms are unprepared to evaluate the authenticity of text, image, and video content.

Strongly attaching content to user identity is the solution. When seeing stops being believing content can’t stand on its own merits. Only by associating a provable human identity to content can consumers trust its authenticity.

This is already weakly the case with Google Maps reviews – you can click a reviewer’s name to see what else they’ve written. Are they a paid shill with 500 posts in broken English? Or do their reviews have nuance? Do they cluster around a believable geography?

My Google review history hints that either I'm human... or I'm an AI faking human nuance.

If you dig deep into Amazon’s review UI, you’ll also find reviewer identities and rankings (by sum of “helpful” votes their reviews have received). It’s the beginnings of an identity platform for consumer content.

Amazon has the makings of a social review network, but the feature feels like an internship project they forgot about.

Facebook/Google/LinkedIn signin is one way to verify identity, but the most reliable verification data is our social network graph. Faking one account is easy, but faking incoming social graph edges is hard. It’s the difference between crashing a wedding and saying “I know the groom’s uncle” vs the groom’s uncle saying “I know you”.

Unfortunately, every major social network has locked down its social graph API since the Cambridge Analytica scandal at Facebook. Blockchain-based identity services are expensive, complex, and don’t offer users much incentive to sign up in meaningful numbers.

With GPT3 chatbot being the coolest thing since the iPhone, it's a strange time to be building a product with authentic humanity as its core value proposition. When AI can generate anything, being able to surface provably human content will become more valuable.