Dean Phillips: Fake robocalls in NH highlight need for regulation

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Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) on Monday denounced an AI-generated robocall in New Hampshire on that impersonated President Biden and encouraged voters not to cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary.

The Democratic presidential candidate called the robocall “wrong” and said the incident highlights the need for regulating artificial intelligence.

“Artificial Intelligence, already surrounding us. It is coming at us like a freight train,” Phillips said in a CNN interview Monday. “This [Biden] administration is comprehensively ill-prepared for the disruption to our economy. Forty percent of jobs are going to be disrupted by it.” 

“We have deep fakes that are misleading and misguiding people, and we have no guardrails. No laws in place to protect us from it, and nobody willing to actually use it to increase delivery of services to reduce costs for Americans,” he continued. “I’ll tell you, this is an example of why you need regulation right now.”

The call includes an artificially-generated Biden voice telling voters not to head to the polls on Tuesday.

“Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again,” the voice mimicking Biden says. “Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday.”

Phillips’ long-shot presidential campaign has hinged its hopes on New Hampshire, where Biden will not be on the ballot. Biden supporters hope a write-in campaign will push the president to victory.

The congressman added that the robocall should point out why younger leadership is needed. Biden is 81 years old, while Phillips is 55.

“That’s exactly why we need a leader who is not 80-something years old, who can understand what is coming, and that’s part of the chaos,” Phillips said. “I’m afraid that if we elect either of these two men,” he continued, referring to Biden and former President Trump, “for different reasons, we are in big trouble.” 

The organization leading the Biden write-in campaign also denounced the robocall on Monday. It is unclear who organized the effort.

“This is deep fake disinformation designed to harm Joe Biden, suppress votes, and damage our democracy,” Aaron Jacobs, a spokesperson for the write-in campaign, said in a statement. 

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