(StraightNews.org) – New York City’s Mayor is using artificial intelligence (AI) to communicate with non-English-speaking residents. Eric Adams said “robocalls,” which are automated telephone calls, are now using the Mayor’s voice to communicate in various languages that he does not speak. Adams said people were surprised and told him, “I didn’t know you could speak Mandarin!”
The calls do not inform people that artificial intelligence is being used, and some campaigners argue the move is unethical. The watchdog group Surveillance Technology Oversight Project said Mayor Adams is misleading New Yorkers by making “deep fakes of himself.” Albert Fox Cahn, a spokesperson for the group, said, “Using AI to convince New Yorkers that he speaks languages that he doesn’t is outright Orwellian.”
Deepfakes are generated using AI and involve taking an image of a person and distorting it to make it appear that they are doing or saying something they have not said or done. For example, artificial intelligence can generate audio or video clips in which a familiar person’s face or voice is mimicked, potentially allowing political opponents to create fake speeches featuring their adversaries. In April, a clip appearing to show a drunk Nancy Pelosi went viral online, and another that showed New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apparently arguing with President Biden was shared widely.
Lawmakers are worried about the technology’s impact on their election campaigns, and on the Presidential election next year. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York wrote to Twitter and Facebook in September asking how they plan to tackle the spread of false information during election periods. “With the 2024 elections quickly approaching, a lack of transparency about this type of content in political ads could lead to a dangerous deluge of election-related misinformation,” they wrote.
Google is the first major online platform to announce it will post labels on any election videos or clips that could have been created using artificial intelligence programs.
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