Headline RoundupFebruary 27th, 2024

Consultant Says He Commissioned Fake Biden Robocalls to Show Dangers of AI

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Steve Kramer, a political operative who formerly worked as a consultant for Rep. Dean Phillips’ (D-MN) presidential campaign, admitted to being behind the robocall impersonating President Joe Biden.

For Context: During the New Hampshire Democratic primary last month, reports emerged of apparent AI-generated robocalls mimicking President Joe Biden, urging Democratic voters not to participate in the primary. The fake Biden voice reportedly said, “Republicans have been trying to push nonpartisan and Democratic voters to participate in their primary. What a bunch of malarkey,” adding, “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.” In response to the calls, the Federal Communications Commission outlawed robocalls utilizing artificial intelligence to mimic voices earlier this month.

Details: Kramer claimed in an interview that he commissioned the AI robocall to call attention to the potential dangers of artificial intelligence as a political tool. He reportedly hired Paul Carpenter, a New Orleans street magician, to use an AI software to impersonate Biden’s voice reading a script written by Kramer.

Key Quotes: Kramer stated in an interview, “This is a way for me to make a difference, and I have. For $500, I got about $5 million worth of action, whether that be media attention or regulatory action.”

How the Media Covered It: Kramer’s explanation is being covered mostly in left- and center-rated outlets. Right-rated coverage is primarily focusing on Kramer’s connection to Phillips, who denounced the robocall scheme.

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