Fighting fakes with AI

By: Bank of Baroda
Mon Nov 23, 2020
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In our previous article, we discussed how technology is being used across organisations to spot counterfeits. In this context, specialised technologies like AI are being increasingly used to identify counterfeits.

As online retailers and marketplaces are proactively adding numerous merchants on their platforms on a frequent basis, unauthorized white labelling, listing fake products and image theft have become persistent causes for concern. Counterfeit goods are estimated to drain more than $1.6 trillion from the global economy, a figure that is slated to climb to $4.2 trillion by 2022, as per International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) report.

In order to mitigate such losses, several companies including bigtechs are developing AI-based products. For instance, IBM has developed ‘Crypto Anchor Verifier’, which is an AI counterfeit detector that uses blockchain and runs on a smartphone. User just needs to take a picture of a product, based on which the app runs a comparison of the image against a database in a blockchain ledger to determine authenticity.

Similarly, Alibaba Group has announced ‘Alibaba Big Data Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance’ with international brands like Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars to leverage AI and big data in anti-counterfeiting technology. It plans to bring together industry and technical know-how as a key strategy for keeping the e-commerce company’s platforms free of pirated goods. In the last one year, Alibaba group had removed more than 380 million product listings and closed down 180,000 third-party seller stores, based on piracy concerns.

Even some government authorities are also leveraging AI in this regard. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is gathering together the world’s experts for a contest to see who can create the most convincing fakes, and also who can create the best AI tool to spot fakes. On the other hand, Chinese government has created an appraisal center to address the problem of counterfeit products. One of the Chinese companies have built an app called Smart Detective that uses AI to appraise luxury goods. The app currently focuses on luggage and purses and is working on the ability to appraise jewellery.

Though the war over counterfeits is difficult to fight, it’s possible for enterprises and brands to gain the upper hand. By democratizing and automating anti-counterfeit systems based on emerging technologies like AI, it is possible to stop fakes at scale.

Credits : Akhil Handa

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