An AI-generated robocall impersonating President Joe Biden has urged Democratic Party members not to vote in the upcoming primary on Tuesday.
Kathy Sullivan – a prominent New Hampshire Democrat and former state party chair – is calling for the prosecution of those responsible, describing the incident as “an attack on democracy.”
The call began with a dismissive “What a bunch of malarkey,” a phrase that’s become associated with the 81-year-old president. It then went on to discourage voting in the primary, suggesting that Democrats should save their votes for the November election.
Sullivan, an attorney, believes the call may violate several laws and is determined to uncover the individuals behind it. New Hampshire attorney general, John Formella, has urged voters to disregard the call’s contents.
The robocall controversy has sparked an investigation, with NBC News releasing a recording of the call. Sullivan’s phone number was included in the message, raising concerns about privacy and potential harassment.
This incident comes amid a wider debate about the use of AI in political campaigns. OpenAI recently suspended the developer of a ChatGPT-powered bot called Dean.Bot that mimicked Democratic candidate Dean Phillips.
As concerns about AI manipulation in elections grow, advocacy groups like Public Citizen are pushing for federal regulation. A petition from Public Citizen calls on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to regulate AI use in campaign ads. The FEC chair, Sean Cooksey, acknowledged the issue but stated that resolving it might take until early summer.
The deepfake call and politician-impersonating chatbot has intensified calls for swift action to address the potential chaos AI could cause in elections. With state lawmakers also considering bills to tackle this practice, the incident raises questions about the vulnerability of democratic processes to AI manipulation in a crucial election year.
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