Report: Magician Takes Responsibility for Biden Deepfake

    Report: Magician Takes Responsibility for Biden Deepfake
    Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • A New Orleans-based magician named Paul Carpenter has claimed that Democratic consultant Steve Kramer paid him to create the fake audio of Pres. Joe Biden calling on New Hampshire voters not to vote in the state's Jan. 23, 2024 primary.

    • Carpenter alleges Kramer — who recently worked for Biden's primary opponent Dean Phillips — paid him $150 via Venmo to use AI to create the deepfake audio that was sent out as a robocall to voters ahead of the primary. Carpenter says he has Venmo receipts.

    The Spin

    Democratic narrative

    This case should serve as a warning of how AI can be used to interfere in future elections. Luckily, Biden was still able to win with his write-in campaign despite not being on the ballot and this robocall discouraging people from voting. Law enforcement and the Federal Communication Commission — which have each taken positive action — should be on high alert moving forward.

    Republican narrative

    This was an obvious criminal action, and whoever was responsible should be held accountable. But one can't ignore that Democrats brought this on themselves with their decision to defy New Hampshire's pleas and instead change the primary schedule. Biden wasn't on the ballot, so a more effective bit of bad-faith Democratic Party malfeasance could have led to an embarrassing loss for the president.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 10% chance that the US will have mandatory disclosure requirements on deepfake technology before Jan. 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus community prediction.

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