AI and Cybersecurity: Unmasking the Threat of Deepfake Robocalls in Politics

A robocall, artificially created by AI and mimicking President Joe Biden’s voice, has been encouraging members of the Democratic Party to abstain from participating in the impending Tuesday primary.

Kathy Sullivan, a notable Democrat from New Hampshire and previous state party leader, is demanding legal action against the culprits, labeling the event as “a strike against democracy.”

The conversation kicked off with a rather dismissive “What a pile of nonsense,” a statement often linked to the octogenarian president. Following this, it subtly discouraged participation in the primary elections, insinuating that Democrats should reserve their votes for the November election.

Sullivan, a lawyer, is of the opinion that the call could potentially break multiple regulations and he is resolute in revealing the people responsible for it. John Formella, the attorney general of New Hampshire, has advised voters to ignore the information of the call.

The debate over robocalls has led to a probe, following the broadcast of the call’s recording by NBC News. The inclusion of Sullivan’s phone number in the message has heightened worries about privacy infringement and possible bullying.

This event occurs within the broader discussion concerning the application of AI in political promotions. Recently, OpenAI discontinued the programmer of a ChatGPT-driven bot named Dean.Bot, which imitated Democratic contender Dean Phillips.

With increasing worries over the potential misuse of AI in electoral processes, organizations such as Public Citizen are advocating for governmental control. Public Citizen has put forth a petition urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to put rules in place for the application of AI in political advertisements. While FEC’s head, Sean Cooksey, has recognized the problem, he indicated that a solution might not be reached until the beginning of summer.

The emergence of deepfake calls and chatbots imitating politicians has amplified the urgency for immediate measures to counter the possible disruption AI may bring in electoral events. This incident, along with the ongoing contemplation of state legislators on related laws, brings to light the susceptibility of democratic proceedings to AI interference, particularly in an important election year.

deep fake call
Deepfake call done to impersonate a person’s voice

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