Democrat Political Operative Indicted for Biden Deepfake Scheme

( – When voters in New Hampshire got a phone call before their presidential primary earlier this year, they heard President Joe Biden telling them to sit out the primary. Their vote mattered in the general election, but not at the primary this Tuesday, according to the phone call.

Except it was not President Biden, but an artificial intelligence (AI) “deepfake” voice that sounded remarkably like the President. Now, the man responsible for the call has been indicted by the state on a total of 26 charges. Political consultant Steve Kramer will also have to pay a $6 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In another surprise, Kramer is described even in leftist mainstream media outlets as a “Democratic operative.” Kramer most recently worked on the presidential campaign for Minnesota Democrat Dean Phillips, who dropped out of the race earlier in the year.

The charges against Kramer from New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella include 13 felony counts of voter suppression and 13 counts of impersonating a candidate in more than one state.

The call cost Kramer only $500, which he paid to a New Orleans street musician who worked some digital magic. About 5,000 New Hampshire residents received the call.

So why did he do it? Kramer claims it wasn’t for the attention or notoriety, but a higher purpose. Saying his “intention” was to make a difference and shake regulators awake about the dangers of AI technology in politics, Kramer said he didn’t need the publicity but the issue of AI did.

The Biden robocall appears to have been the first instance of AI technology interfering in a U.S. election, but, of course, there is no way to know. What is most disturbing about the technology is how accurate it is. Depending on the quality of the work, AI videos purporting to be video or audio footage of famous people can be hard or impossible to tell from the real thing.

Scrambling after the incident, the FCC ruled unanimously in February that AI-generated voices in robocalls are against the law. The agency also slapped Lingo Telecom, the service that carried the fake call, with a $2 million fine.

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