According to Forbes, there are at least nine advantages to using artificial intelligence (AI). They range from "reducing human error" to performing "risky and perilous tasks efficiently." While I know that's true in my brain, every story that comes out seems to be negative which adds more fearful fuel to my paranoid pyre.
One harrowing use of AI is making the rounds on TikTok and I'm not kidding when I say, this is a top five nightmare scenario for me. TikToker @adminandeve, real name Eve, was one of the first influencers I came across who was warning others about this trap. Apparently a brand is offering heaps of money in exchange for an AI clone of content creators with huge platforms. If it sounds like a Faustian bargain, it's probably a Faustian bargain.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Eve Pena wants to help you find a job, and a decent existence. She's a self-described career coach who wants to help people find employment that allows them to "live your life, pursue your passions, and pay you a thriving wage. Life is too short to work 14 days straight and take a vacation every three years," per her website.
She offers a wide array of services that include but aren't limited to punching up your resume, revamping your LinkedIn profile, and writing a cover letter that actually works. She will also give general career advice as needed. As Eve tells it, she "went from customer service to corporate to six figures in only four years as an assistant." It's safe to say, she knows how to get things done and can sniff out a scam.
That's why she popped onto her TikTok to warn CareerTok and her fellow influencers of a pretty terrifying offer. "Over the next week or two you're going to see influencers peddling a highly unethical, and really dangerous career-based service," she claims. She knows this because that comany was "stupid enough to offer it" to her.
These guys must be desperate to spread the word about their services because they offered Eve what amounts to 25 times her rent in New York City. An apartment on the cheap side in NYC runs about $2,000, which means Eve might have been able to make as much as $50,000. So, who is spending this much money and what's the catch?
The spiel went something like this: How would you feel if you never had to give an interview as you yourself ever again, and if we could create a clone for you by using your voice and likeness that would sit on Zoom calls and get you a stellar interview, and get you the job." I'm not sure we're at Zoom clones yet. This doesn't feel right and is definitely the plot to Multiplicity.
Apparently they are promising the very same things Eve does as a Career Coach, so I can see why she is especially rattled by this. To get more information, Eve suggests they schedule a Zoom call. This of course begs the question, will Eve be speaking with a real person?
She comes in hot and points out the fact that this is very unethical. "What do you say to that," she asks the woman (AI bot?) on the Zoom call. "I feel like it's unethical too," she replied. "Don't worry we will create talking points for you so you can answer the hate comments and deflect as needed." It's definitely a bad sign when an organization is expecting negative reactions.
After doing some digging into the company, Eve learned the CEO is based on Dubai but couldn't find a name. "So, he's a Saudi billionaire," joked Eve. Their plan is to target the American market via influencers with enormous platforms which Eve feels could also pose a threat to national security. Honestly, a bunch of influencer clones are only threatening to the wellness market.
The brand in question could be Forever Voices.
Eve doesn't mention the name of the brand that contacted her, but it might be Forever Voices. They've already been dealing with influencers like Caryn Marjorie who partnered with the company and, "for a dollar a minute, fans she might never have otherwise had the time to meet could instead chat with Marjorie’s digital double," reported the Los Angeles Times.
This is framed as romantic and "incorporates aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy into its conversations." Conversations did get weird which makes sense says Amy Webb, chief executive of the consulting firm Future Today Institute. "We’re talking about an AI system [where] theoretically the goal is to keep people on as long as possible so that you continue earning money," she said. "Which means that it’s likely going to start incentivizing behavior that we probably would not want in the real world."
Although artificial intelligence is deeply rooted in machines and technology, one's humanity must play a part in regulating. There are people like Eve who are concerned this is a bit like selling your soul while folks like Caryn "see AI as a tool, and it’s a tool that helps creators create better content." Maybe Goethe was right when he wrote in Faust: E’en hell hath its peculiar laws.