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Maker deepfake robocall has been found

by Marco van der Hoeven

New Orleans street magician Paul Carpenter has been identified as the creator of a controversial robocall that used an AI-generated imitation of President Joe Biden’s voice. The call, which targeted New Hampshire voters, urged Democrats to abstain from voting in the primary. This revelation has sparked a criminal investigation by New Hampshire’s attorney general and drawn attention from federal law enforcement officials.

Carpenter, known for his street magic and a world record in fork bending, disclosed his involvement in an interview with CNN. He stated that he was hired by a political consultant, Steve Kramer, who was working for Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips’ campaign. Carpenter provided evidence, including text messages, to corroborate his account. Kramer and Phillips’ campaign so far have not provided comments to CNN on their alleged involvement with the robocall. Phillips’ spokesperson, however, has denounced the action and distanced the campaign from Kramer.

The magician, who claims no previous political engagement, expressed regret over his work’s potential impact on voter behavior. Carpenter described the process of creating the AI voice as relatively simple and quick, utilizing the AI voice service ElevenLabs. He emphasized that he was unaware of the intended use of the audio and assumed it was for Biden’s own campaign. Carpenter’s involvement raises concerns about the ease and potential misuse of AI technology in political campaigns, particularly in creating deepfake content that can mislead or manipulate voters.

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