WME said its primary concern was protecting its clients.
“We have been at this for a while to try and tackle this issue so that our clients have protections in place to at least start to address what is clearly a rampant issue,” said Chris Jacquemin, WME’s head of digital strategies.
Deepfakes involving well-known actors and entertainers have been an issue for years. The relatively recent emergence of more sophisticated A.I., however, has exacerbated the problem. This month, a fake ad for the cookware maker Le Creuset appeared on Facebook. It featured what purported to be Ms. Swift offering free cookware in exchange for users’ personal information. Neither Ms. Swift nor Le Creuset was involved in the promotion.
“You have no real ability to stop it other than manually stumbling across it,” Mr. Jacquemin said of that type of scam. “Vermillio starts to automate that process.”
WME’s clients will now give their identifying digital data to Vermillio to be recorded and protected on the blockchain. Vermillio said it would then be able to track and authenticate images of the clients that appear online. Those images could then either be removed, or the clients could decide to ask for payment. Vermillio would get a share of that revenue.
WME and Vermillio said the partnership could also help compensate performers if studios wanted, for instance, to use A.I. to have someone’s voice translate content into other languages.