In 2019 I wrote about the arrival of deep fakes and posited that it might take an election being stolen before anyone in the country takes it seriously. Welcome to 2024 where someone engineered a robocall in New Hampshire designed to suppress the vote in that state’s January 23rd primary elections. The call featured what appears to be an artificial intelligence-generated clone of President Biden’s voice telling callers that their votes mattered more in November than in today’s primary. To put a nice ironic cherry on top, the robocallers seemed to have spoofed a phone number from a Democrat PAC that supports Biden’s efforts in New Hampshire. Here is the actual release from the NH Department of Justice website that signals the official investigation, in case you are skeptical of the above website’s veracity.
What this means for you
I imagine that regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit on, this presents a very scary future where we cannot trust our eyes or ears or practically anything on the internet at a time when truth and objective reasoning are crucial. The technology to do the above is readily available and accessible, and it seems a small but influential number of us cannot be trusted to act responsibly with powerful technology. If you are thinking, “well, let them duke it out in their political battles over there, I don’t need to worry about AI fakes affecting me,” let me spin a “fanciful” situation for you to consider. Let’s say you have a disgruntled ex-employee who is looking to strike back at you or your company and decides to use the above tool to fake a harassing phone call from someone in company leadership to someone else in your organization. Do I even have to tell you that this service is likely already on offer in questionable corners of the internet? What can you do?
Make your voice heard in the upcoming elections by voting for leaders that represent your values (which are hopefully based on lifting people up instead of pushing them down). How do you know who that might be? Time to step up and ask directly. Don’t rely on third parties to put words in their mouths. It’s time for direct accountability, for you, me and them.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net