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Robocalls are a staple of political campaigns, and using robocalls to mislead voters is nothing new.

What is new is the widespread availability of artificial intelligence technologies, which have given just about anybody the ability to make deepfake audio and video. A misleading robocall sent to New Hampshire voters using a deepfake of Joe Biden’s voice is the latest – and almost certainly not the last – dirty trick to deploy AI.

Boston University media and disinformation scholar Joan Donovan explains how the proliferation of deepfake technology – including impersonation–as–a–service apps and websites – makes it difficult to distinguish reality from fiction. She also describes how citizens can fight back.

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Eric Smalley

Science + Technology Editor

The fake robocall urged Democratic voters in New Hampshire not to vote in the Jan. 23, 2024, primary election. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fake Biden robocall to New Hampshire voters highlights how easy it is to make deepfakes − and how hard it is to defend against AI-generated disinformation

Joan Donovan, Boston University

Deepfake technology is widely available, and a pivotal election year lies ahead. The fake Biden robocall is likely to be just the latest of a series of AI-enhanced disinformation campaigns.

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