Trump Calls for Action on 'Dangerous and Scary' AI Following Increase in Deepfake Usage

Trump Calls for Action on ‘Dangerous and Scary’ AI Following Increase in Deepfake Usage

UTC by Mercy Tukiya Mutanya · 3 min read
Trump Calls for Action on ‘Dangerous and Scary’ AI Following Increase in Deepfake Usage
Photo: Depositphotos

The ex-president’s words echo sentiments shared by players in both the technology and political spheres about the potential use of AI to create visual and audio media meant to mislead the public, especially before the upcoming elections. 

Former United States President Donald Trump has called artificial intelligence (AI) “dangerous and scary”. Speaking to Fox Business, the Republican presidential hopeful observed that AI-powered deepfakes could be used for harm.

Trump highlighted an incident in which someone had created a deepfake video of him endorsing a product, adding that such media could even be used in wars.

“I saw somebody ripping me off the other day where they had me making a speech about their product. I said I’ll never endorse that product. You can’t even tell the difference. It looks like I’m actually endorsing it,” he said. “You can get that into wars and other things.”

He called for quick action to mitigate the damage the technology could cause because it was “maybe the most dangerous thing out there […] because there is no real solution”.

The Threat of AI-Fueled Propaganda and Fraud

The ex-president’s words echo sentiments shared by players in both the technology and political spheres about the potential use of AI to create visual and audio media meant to mislead the public, especially before the upcoming elections.

Just last month, New Hampshire residents received robocalls with a voice that sounded like the US President urging them not to vote in the January 23 primary. It was later discovered that the audio messages were generated using an AI deepfake tool. The state’s attorney general went on to issue a statement calling on citizens to disregard the message, while a Trump spokesperson denied any involvement from the former president and his campaign team.

In a similar incident, on January 21, audio surfaced in which a deepfake voice of Manhattan Democrat leader Keith Wright made negative comments about fellow Democratic Assemblymember Inez Dickens.

The technology is already being used in fraud, as evidenced by an incident in Hong Kong in which a finance worker paid out $25 million to scammers. The victim had reportedly received a suspicious email supposedly from his company’s UK-based Chief Financial Officer requesting a secret transaction.

The worker set his suspicions aside after attending a video conference call with people who sounded and looked like his colleagues. He then proceeded to send a total of 200 million Hong Kong dollars ($25.6) to the fraudsters.

It remains to be what measures will be put in place to protect the public from these and other dangers of the nascent technology.

Artificial Intelligence, News, Technology News
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