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A magician from New Orleans claims that a Democratic operative hired him to create the phony Biden robocall. According to text messages, call logs, and Venmo transactions, the creator shared with NBC News — a Democratic consultant working for a rival presidential campaign paid a magician in New Orleans to use artificial intelligence to impersonate President Joe Biden for a robocall that is currently the subject of a multistate law enforcement investigation.

Paul Carpenter claims he was hired in January by Steve Kramer, who assisted Democratic presidential contender Dean Phillips with ballot access. Carpenter’s task was to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create voice impersonation of Joe Biden asking Democrats in New Hampshire to abstain from voting in the state’s presidential primary.

“There was no malicious intent. I didn’t know how it was going to be distributed.”

“I created the audio used in the robocall. I did not distribute it,” Carpenter said in an interview in New Orleans, where he resides. “I was in a situation where someone offered me some money to do something, and I did it. There was no malicious intent. I didn’t know how it was going to be distributed.”

Carpenter’s claim to fame is that he holds the world record in fork-bending and straitjacket escapes. He told and showed NBC News how he made the fake Biden audio file. Carpenter says that he only came forward to apologize for his part in the incident and to alert people to the ease with which artificial intelligence may be used to deceive.

Carpenter told NBC News that it only took him 20 minutes to make the robocall and cost approximately $1 — Carpenter, himself, was paid $150 according to the Venmo payment transfer from Kramer and his father, Bruce Kramer.

The authorities have not identified Carpenter and Steve Kramer as inquiry targets.

Federal law enforcement officers and New Hampshire officials are paying close attention to the robocall because they may have broken federal telecom regulations and state laws prohibiting voter suppression. Authorities have promised to look into the matter and have named the Dallas-based company that was responsible for the automated phone calls made to voters prior to the state’s primary. They did this because they wanted to hold those responsible accountable for the first-ever instance of an AI-generated deepfake being used maliciously in an American political campaign.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by SHVETS production; Pexels

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is an editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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