Latest News

Quality and authenticity not AI fakes will win brands’ hearts, influencer marketing chief warns

Creativity to replace charisma as AI impacts the influencer world, forecasts boss of Disrupt

The role of artificial intelligence and deep fake influencers is taking its toll on the influencer marketing landscape, but creativity will replace charisma in winning over brands in future, according to the boss of influencer marketing agency Disrupt.

Former reality TV star Stevie Johnson tells Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon today, that the new era of influencer marketing will see authenticity and creativity rewarded in the creator economy where AI generation tools are already being utilised.


Stevie Johnson, managing director of Disrupt, said: “Today more than ever, more people are capitalising on the creator economy, making a living off of it, and both brands and platforms are investing in it, giving creators more ways to create, optimise, and monetise their content.

“These changes have professionalised and grown the industry, but we’re about to see massive changes to it because of the rise of artificial intelligence, in terms of reduced barriers to entry and further growth, plus business model evolution.”


According to a recent survey by YouGov, three out of four (74%) creators are concerned about the use of AI for creating deep fakes, while 92% of current creators and 66% of aspiring creators are familiar with AI. More than 60% are already using it in their current content creation.

Johnson warns that there needs to be an open discussion about the regulatory frameworks required to address the potential risk associated with the use of AI, particularly where deepfake influencers are concerned.


He adds: “While AI has its benefits, the deepfake threat opens up a whole world of deep trouble for influencers and content creators.

“Deepfakes pose a massive risk to our industry and to content creators themselves because the technology will undermine two crucial pillars – trust and authenticity.”


AI-generated manipulations of individual identities have already been used to violate privacy and infringe copyright & intellectual property.


Earlier this year, celebrity podcaster, Joe Rogan, found himself at the centre of a deepfake scam. In a fabricated 28-second video clip of the popular JRE podcast, which largely has a younger male audience, Rogan and guest, Andrew D. Huberman, appeared to actively promote a male libido booster.


In a speech at Web Summit today (November 14th), entitled Creativity over Charisma: AI’s Blueprint for Next-Gen Influencers, Johnson suggests that:


  • AI tools will disrupt the creator economy and transform the way content is created and consumed,
  • Human creators will not be displaced but will be empowered to scale their production, and
  • Reliance on AI will lead to an over-abundance of content making it difficult for creators to stand out.


The Disrupt chief forecasts that creators who prioritise quality will win, authenticity will be more important than ever, and platforms and brands will reward conscientious creators of the future.