AI "Deepfake" Targets Ron DeSantis and 2024 Election

Tech industry leaders will be on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the potential threats of artificial intelligence, especially on our elections.

Senators will hear from Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and others during a closed-door meeting Wednesday.

Unfortunately, AI "deepfakes" are already influencing the 2024 Presidential election. One deep fake targeted presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis who has been accused of being naturally "robotic." The artificially generated video of the Florida Governor appears to show a version of him delivering a two-minute statement in which he drops out of the race and throws his support behind former President Trump.

A “deepfake” is generated by artificial-intelligence (ai) software, which has been trained to mimic the sound of a person's voice.

Professor Fred Cate, Director, Center for Applied Cyber Security Research, Indiana University School of Law says while financial scams are illegal, deep fakes of high-profile public figures are not. Professor Cate says we all need to be skeptical and look for problems with deep fakes which are a compilation of images.

One way to spot a fake is to look for flaws like too many fingers on one hand or the lack of blinking. The synthetic reality has a problem with detailed parts of the human body like hands and there aren't a lot of people with their eyes closed.

In the clip, DeSantis appears to be saying, “After the last week’s events, including my poor performance at the debate as well as President Trump rejoining X, I’ve realized I need to drop out of this race immediately.”

Governor DeSantis has not dropped out of the presidential race.

Eric Schmidt, a former CEO of Google has warned that “the 2024 elections are going to be a mess because social media is not protecting us from false generative ai.”

For more on "deepfakes" listen to our true Krime podcast.

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