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A deepfake voice of Joe Biden was part of a vote suppression robocall campaign

A microphone

The risks accompanying the breakthrough of artificial intelligence and publicly available tools based on the technology are once again being discussed after the latest incident of their misuse.

As NBC10 Boston reported on Monday, a robocall campaign in New Hampshire utilized a deepfake voice of President Joe Biden to discourage supporters from participating in Tuesday’s Presidential Primary.

The artificial voice, although similar to Biden’s, carried many signs of manipulation, as can be heard from the recording published by NBC News.

“The message appears to have been ‘spoofed’ to falsely show that it had been sent by the treasurer of a political committee that has been supporting the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary write-in efforts for President Biden,” said the Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire.

The voice message – transcribed below – urged supporters not to vote, pretending that it was actually a move in favor of the Democratic Party:

“What a bunch of malarkey. You know the value of voting Democratic when our votes count. It's important that you save your vote for the November election. We’ll need your help in electing Democrats up and down the ticket. 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 Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire said that the Election Law Unit is investigating the incident, adding the robocall campaign “appears to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election.”

In a follow-up report by NBC10 Boston, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan said the incident “reinforces kind of a national concern that has been out there about the effect of artificial intelligence and how it might impact elections and campaigns in negative ways.”

The incident comes just days after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stopped accepting submissions for its Voice Cloning Challenge. The commission hopes to get some useful ideas on how to tackle the fraudulent or unauthorized use of AI-based voice cloning systems.

If you are interested in the topic of AI, its overall benefits, and unavoidable risks, also check out our latest editorial about artificial intelligence and its relation to the famous Fappening privacy breach from 2014.

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