Mapping the deepfake landscape for innovation: A multidisciplinary systematic review and future research agenda

Lucas Whittaker, Rory Mulcahy, Kate Letheren, Jan Kietzmann, Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Deepfakes are an emerging communication innovation possessing vast implications for innovation scholarship. A systematic literature review of multidisciplinary literature was undertaken to assess existing deepfake definitions and synthesize a new definition to guide future theoretical development and empirical understanding of this communication innovation. Further, the systematic review identifies deepfake creators and those depicted by deepfakes and evaluates value creation and destruction implications of deepfakes for customers and organizations. Following the PRISMA protocol, this review evaluates deepfake research published between January 2017 and June 2021 across five databases, including only English literature from Q1/Q2 peer-reviewed journals. Eighty research articles were included in the final review. Using text mining software, a new deepfake definition is synthesized which encompasses the emerging concepts of “videos”, “audio”, “realistic”, “fake”, “artificial”, “learning”, “media”, and “saying”. Undetermined actors and individual content creators were most commonly identified as deepfake creators, whereas public figures, celebrities, and actors were most frequently depicted by deepfakes. Deepfakes potentially create and destroy value for customers and organizations. This study provides a new, holistic multidisciplinary definition of deepfakes, offers fresh insights into the use and impact of deepfakes as a communication innovation, and provides a new understanding of the value implications derived from deepfakes for innovation. Lastly, a future deepfake research agenda for innovation scholars is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102784
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


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