Rival Campaign Consultant Behind Deepfake Biden AI Call

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Washington: A political consultant working for the long-shot presidential campaign of a Democratic rival to Joe Biden has admitted being behind a robocall impersonating the US leader.

The AI-generated call, the brainchild of an operative for Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips, featured what sounded like Biden's voice urging people not to cast ballots in January's New Hampshire primary.

It is being investigated by authorities as attempted voter suppression.

The incident caused alarm among experts who fear a deluge of AI-powered deepfake disinformation in the 2024 White House race as well as in other key elections around the globe this year.

Steve Kramer, a consultant working for Phillips, told NBC News on Sunday that he hired New Orleans street magician Paul Carpenter to use AI software to replicate Biden's voice.

He said the ploy was intended as a wake-up call to bring attention to the dangers AI poses for politics.

"This is a way for me to make a difference, and I have," Kramer told NBC.

"For $500, I got about $5 million worth of action, whether that be media attention or regulatory action."

The fake phone message, scripted by Kramer, opened with "what a bunch of malarkey" -- a favorite phrase of the president's.

The AI-generated voice told voters that "it's important that you save your vote for the November election."

"Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday," the voice added.

Kramer said the robocall was made without the knowledge of the Phillips campaign.

"Glad he fessed-up. America should already have AI guardrails in place to prevent its nefarious use," Phillips said on X.

Kramer said that he has received a subpoena from the Federal Communications Commission, the US regulator, and expects that he will face prosecution and lawsuits.

The New Hampshire District Attorney's office opened an investigation into the robocall shortly after it was deployed.


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