The first deepfake of this long-anticipated “AI election” happened today when a synthetic voice sounding like Joe Biden made robocalls to New Hampshire Democrats urging them not to vote in tomorrow’s presidential primary.
“It’s important that you save your vote for the November election,” fake Biden tells Democrats. Whoever crafted this expected voters to believe that they have only a limited storehouse of votes and could run out if they were to spend one tomorrow.
Members of Congress and state legislators are racing to pass laws to make these tricks a crime. We urge lawmakers to take a careful and narrow approach, lest we outlaw Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump appearing with Presidents Kennedy and Nixon, or obvious satire like a Saturday Night Live skit. Protect The 1st agrees that laws should narrowly target those who perpetrate deepfakes to short-circuit an election. They cheat voters and make a mockery of the First Amendment by attributing statements or creating lurid images of candidates saying and doing things they would never say or do.
The good news today is that the media was alert to these dangers and reported this dirty trick in real time. Expect more such incidents. Vigilance will be needed throughout the year.