As social media platforms move to crack down on deepfakes and misinformation in the US elections, an Indian politician has used artificial intelligence techniques to make it look like he said things he didn’t say,
Political communications firm The Ideaz Factory told Vice it was working with Tiwari’s Bharatiya Janata Party to create “positive campaigns” using the same technology used in deepfake videos, and dubbed in an actor’s voice to read the script in Haryanvi.
“We used a ‘lip-sync’ deepfake algorithm and trained it with speeches of Manoj Tiwari to translate audio sounds into basic mouth shapes,” Sagar Vishnoi of The Ideaz Factory said, adding that it allowed the candidate to target voters he might not have otherwise been able to reach as directly (while India has two official languages, Hindi and English, some Indian states have their own languages and there are hundreds of various dialects).
The faked video reached about 15 million people in India, according to Vice.
In October, however, California passed a bill making it
Social media companies have announced plans to try to combat the spread of deepfakes on their platforms.
How and when intentional use of altered videos might affect the 2020 US elections is anyone’s guess, but as one expert told Vice, even though the Tiwari video was meant to be part of a “positive” effort, the genie is out of the bottle now.