A new ad on TikTok used a deepfake version of Joe Rogan in order to promote a male enhancement product.
As Futurism reports, TikTok ad strategist Jimmy Farley first spotted the AI Rogan clone, which appears to have been created without the podcaster’s permission (and has since been removed from the platform).
“My first time seeing a deepfake ad in the wild on TikTok… How tf is this legal?” Farley wrote on Twitter.
The answer seems to be, well, it’s not. But while it was up, the ad mimicked Rogan’s face, voice, and speech pattern in a way that, per Futurism, “looks and sounds far too convincing for our liking.”
Most insidiously, the deepfaked ad, which circulated on TikTok and reportedly duped unsuspecting consumers, sold something that’s not so far out of Rogan’s wheelhouse, given his passionate health habits and history of recommending dietary supplements from his own company Onnit.
In the faked video, the Joe Rogan Experience host’s visage is seen discussing supposedly male libido-boosting supplements containing maca root powder with guest Professor Andrew D. Huberman on his show. Rogan then encourages fans to purchase a particular brand named “Alpha Grind,” PetaPixel reports.
“If you go to Amazon and type in Libido Booster for Men, you’re going to find it right at the top. Because guys are figuring out that it literally is increasing size and making a difference down there,” Rogan’s voice seems to say.
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Except the conversation between Rogan and Huberman never happened.
They created a false conversation. We never had. We were talking about something very different.— Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) February 12, 2023
Huberman clarified on Twitter: “They created a false conversation. We never had. [SIC] We were talking about something very different.” That may have gone over the heads of casual TikTok users and Rogan fans who were served the ad and lured into purchasing the supplements.
While the specific health product being marketed here is dubious on its face, considering how it literally steals Rogan’s identity, the idea behind maca root powder as an aid in the bedroom makes at least a little sense.
According to Medical News Today, there is tentative scientific evidence to suggest that maca root may increase the libido. Just don’t buy your supplements from a terrifying, dystopian digital simulacrum of Joe Rogan.