Biden AI Impersonation Tried to Suppress New Hampshire Polls

Biden AI Impersonation Tries to Suppress New Hampshire Polls

A deceptive robocall made the rounds in New Hampshire (NH), featuring an AI-generated voice of President Joe Biden, dissuading Democrats from voting in the Tuesday, Jan. 24 primary elections.

The call also used President Biden’s signature phrase, “What a bunch of malarkey,” telling voters that participating in the election would only aid Trump’s re-election.

New Hampshire’s Attorney General, John Formella, is currently investigating the issue.

The deception

The fake Biden audio message advises voters to only participate in the election in November and boycott the primary polls.

“It’s important that you save your vote for the November election,” said the voice.

“Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” added the voice.

According to NBC News, NH former Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan’s cell phone number was used as the caller ID, which prompted AG Formella to launch investigations into the matter.

Theft of personal data

Sullivan became aware of the mischievous call on Sunday. She revealed she began receiving calls from people after they had received the Biden call.

“I said, ‘You got a call from Joe Biden, and he gave you my number?’” was one of her responses to the callers.

She then alerted law enforcement, since the use of her personal number without her permission is a crime.

“This call links back to my personal cell phone number without my permission. It is outright election interference and clearly an attempt to harass me and other New Hampshire voters who are planning to write-in Joe Biden on Tuesday,” she said in a statement.

President Biden is not contending in the NH primaries but “indirectly involved via a write-in campaign.

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Who orchestrated it?

It is unclear how many people got the calls from the fake Joe Biden, as well as who is behind the calls.

But several voters who received the call have admitted its authenticity sounded compelling despite the “illogical content.” The White House has since denied any association with the call, promising a commitment to counteracting misinformation and disinformation.

“Spreading disinformation to suppress voting and deliberately undermine free and fair elections will not stand, and fighting back against any attempt to undermine our democracy will continue to be a top priority for this campaign,” said President Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Rodrigues, in a statement.

Democratic presidential hopeful and Minnesota congressman Dean Philips’s campaign team has also distanced itself from the robocall after being alerted to the call by the media on Sunday evening.

Likewise, former President Donald Trump’s campaign team also denied any links to the fake call. AG Formella has already urged voters to disregard the message, saying this was just intended to disrupt the democratic process.

Worrisome misuse of AI

Generative AI has dominated conversations in the tech space, and concerns have been raised several times over the potential misuse of the technology.

Experts have warned of bad actors taking advantage of the technology to spread deepfakes during the 2024 election.

“We have been concerned that generative AI would be weaponized in the upcoming election, and we are seeing what is surely a sign of things to come,” digital forensics expert Hany Farid said.

Farid, who is with the University of California, Berkeley, reviewed the audio before confirming it as “relatively low-quality AI fake.”

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.