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Democratic consultant admits hiring whoever fabricated Biden's fake call with artificial intelligence

2024-02-25T23:42:24.381Z

Highlights: Democratic consultant admits hiring whoever fabricated Biden's fake call with artificial intelligence. Steve Kramer acknowledged being responsible for the fake call that imitated the president's voice and that the authorities are investigating. A New Orleans magician had already said that Kramer paid him to fake Biden's voice with artificial Intelligence. The incident gave rise to several police investigations and provoked protests from electoral officials and control agencies. And the Federal Commission plans to accelerated plans to criminalize robocalls made with artificialintelligence in to Biden's robocall.


Steve Kramer acknowledged being responsible for the fake call that imitated the president's voice and that the authorities are investigating. A New Orleans magician had already said that Kramer paid him to fake Biden's voice with artificial intelligence.


By Alex Seitz-Wald—

NBC News

Steve Kramer, a veteran political consultant who worked for a Democratic candidate rival to President Joe Biden, acknowledged this Sunday that he commissioned a robocall in which an artificial intelligence voice posed as Biden, confirming an NBC News report from that he was behind the call.

Kramer expressed no remorse for creating the

deepfake

, in which an imitation of the president's voice discouraged participation in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

The incident gave rise to several police investigations and provoked protests from electoral officials and control agencies.

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“On the night of Sunday, January 20, two days before the New Hampshire primary, I sent out a robocall to the 5,000 people most likely to vote Democratic.

Using easy-to-use online technology, an automated version of the President Joe Biden's voice was created,” Kramer said in a statement first shared with NBC News.

Kramer said more law enforcement is needed to stop people like him from doing what he did.

“With an investment of just $500, anyone could replicate my intentional decision,” Kramer said.

“Immediate action is needed across all regulatory bodies and platforms.”

Kramer did not disclose whether his client at the time, the campaign of Biden's main rival, directed him to make the call.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., paid Kramer more than $250,000 when the robocall was made in January, according to his campaign finance filings.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., had hired Steve Kramer in the days around the hoax call.Getty Images

Phillips and his campaign condemned the robocall, saying they had no knowledge of Kramer's involvement and would have fired him immediately if they had known.

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Phillips' press secretary, Katie Dolan, said in response to Kramer's statement Sunday: "Our campaign repeats its condemnation of these calls and any efforts to suppress the vote."

Phillips' team hired Kramer in December and January for ballot access work in New York and Pennsylvania, which involves collecting thousands of voter signatures so a candidate can qualify to be on the ballot.

Kramer was first linked to the fake Biden robocall on Friday by an NBC News report.

Paul Carpenter, a New Orleans magician, received $150 for the job, according to Venmo transactions and text messages. Matthew Hinton / AP

Paul Carpenter, a New Orleans street magician, said Kramer hired him to use artificial intelligence software to create an audio file that replicated Biden's voice as he read from a script Kramer prepared and provided to him.

Carpenter received $150 for the job, according to Venmo transactions and text messages he shared with NBC News.

Until Carpenter revealed what he had done, it was unclear whether the world would ever know who was behind the first known use of a fake file created with artificial intelligence in a presidential campaign.

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A get-out-the-vote specialist and president of his own small business, Kramer has worked on dozens of federal, state and local campaigns over the past 20 years.

He has worked primarily for Democrats and his career grew out of his involvement with Young Democrats of America, although his most notable client was probably Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who hired Kramer for his brief independent 2020 presidential campaign.

Carpenter, a nomadic artist, says he met Kramer through a mutual acquaintance last year and was under the impression that Kramer was working for Biden's campaign when Biden asked him to create the audio file that eventually became the call. automatic.

Ongoing investigation

New Hampshire authorities are investigating the robocall for potentially violating the state's anti-voter suppression laws.

A task force of attorneys general from several states focusing on robocalls will seek to crack down on people involved in Biden's robocall to set an early example as use of the technology becomes more widespread.

And the Federal Commission accelerated plans to criminalize robocalls made with artificial intelligence in response to Biden's robocall.

President Joe Biden walks to the White House on Monday, January 22, after visiting Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.Andrew Harnik / AP

In his statement, Kramer confirmed that to distribute the calls he hired the Texas telemarketing company, Life Co., which has been identified by investigators as the one that originated the calls.

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“They had no knowledge of the contents of this call prior to its delivery,” Kramer wrote.

“I would use them again, but they are done with my business.”

He also confirmed Carpenter's account that he directed the content of the fake Biden robocall, saying the call was created “using a script of my specific choosing.”

Kramer appears to be trying to turn the situation around by arguing that his actions will have a positive benefit to society by prompting the implementation of stricter security barriers before this technology becomes widespread in campaigns.

“Self-policing will not work,” he wrote.

“Even people acting alone can quickly and easily use AI (artificial intelligence) for deceptive and disruptive purposes,” Kramer added.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2024-02-25

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