☎️ Ahoy-hoy: It's a deepfake robocall
AI's getting chatty.
What's worse than a robocall? Well, an AI-generated deepfake robocall, of course! Especially when that call sounds like a recording of someone you're very familiar with. You know, like the President. 🤖☎️
Recently, an AI-generated deepfake robocall using President Biden's voice was used to discourage Democrats from voting in the New Hampshire primary. NBC News notes that the fake Biden robocall "has sparked a renewed urgency on Capitol Hill about the threat of artificial intelligence-generated content designed to interfere in elections."
But lawmakers are doubtful Congress will be able to pass legislation to prevent deepfakes prior to the 2024 presidential election. Deb Fischer, a senator from Nebraska told NBC News that she doesn't see a clear path to legislation. “First of all, we can’t even get appropriations bills up on the floor," she told NBC News. "How are we ever going to get anything else up on the floor with the leader?”
"Republicans are a hard no" on legislation, Sen. Elizabeth Warren told NBC News. Adding: “Not every Republican, but it doesn’t take many to block it.” 🙅
NBC News added that:
Experts who spoke to NBC News said the fake Biden robocall telling Democrats not to vote in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary was almost certainly an AI-generated deepfake. The state’s GOP attorney general has described the robocalls as an illegal attempt to suppress voters from writing in Biden’s name in the Democratic presidential primary. And it has given lawmakers a real-life example of the types of deepfakes that could be deployed in the 2024 election, which is shaping up to be a rematch between Biden and Donald Trump.
Some members of congress have already introduced the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, which would ban the use of AI intended to influence elections, but it has yet to be passed by either the House or the Senate.
Until it does, we'll continue to see AI-generated deepfakes influencing elections, and it may get worse. Much worse.
To add to this, AI-generated robocalls in general have been on the increase. As a result, 26 state attorneys general have submitted a joint statement to the FFC in an effort to "restrict the use of artificial intelligence in telemarketing in order to protect consumers from unwanted robocalls and robotexts."
The statement notes that "it is apparent that AI technologies will continue to both rapidly develop and permeate an already complex telecommunications ecosystem."
The attorneys general added that they are prepared to work with the FCC to help eliminate the use of AI in robocalls.
📝 And since we can't seem to escape AI these days, I thought I'd mentioned how several of the news outlets that were criticized for their use of AI-generated articles are now facing severe repercussions.
CNET's parent company Red Ventures is having trouble selling the tech publisher due to the company's recent AI scandal. One year ago this month, Futurism found that CNET had published numerous AI-generated articles under the "CNET Money Staff" byline. "And on closer inspection, over half of the AI-generated CNET articles ended up containing glaring errors and plagiarism that resulted in corrections," writes Maggie Harrison Dupré.
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated is laying off "many or perhaps all" of its staff after missing payments and being overburdened by debt. Additionally, prioritizing SEO and click-bait articles over real journalism helped diminish SI's reputation. All of this comes after the magazine "published dozens of articles under the bylines of fake authors with AI-generated headshots."
🦊 In browser news, Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser recently wrote a blog post highlighting the "uneven playing field" for independent browsers.
Mozilla alleges that companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google are using methods that are "making it harder for a user to download and use a different browser, ignoring or resetting a user’s default browser preference, restricting capabilities to the first-party browser, or requiring the use of the first-party browser engine for third-party browsers."
As a Mac user, I have easily downloaded third-party browsers such as Firefox and Arc. I've been able to use these browsers as my default and my Mac has NEVER reset the default browser or restricted any capabilities.
To me, this sounds a lot like Mozilla playing a victim here because they can't seem to make much headway against other, more popular browsers.
Lastly, if you're looking for a Gmail alternative that's more private, I recommend Proton Mail. I switched earlier this month and the platform is rich in features, has a great design, and offers excellent privacy.
📖 What I'm reading
The Mac turns 40 (The Verge)
Looking back on 40 years of the Mac (The Verge)
Apple considers commissions from sideloaded apps (TechCrunch)
Scientists find ruins of ancient cities in the Amazon (The Byte)
NYC declares social media an ‘environmental toxin’ (Semafor)