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Political operative and firms behind Biden AI robocall sued for thousands

Mar 14, 2024 The Guardian

Steve Kramer and two Texas companies spoofed president’s voice to suppress turnout in New Hampshire

A political operative and two companies that facilitated a fake robocall using AI to impersonate Joe Biden should be required to pay thousands of dollars in damages and should be barred from taking similar future actions, a group of New Hampshire voters and a civic action group said in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday.

The suit comes weeks after Steve Kramer, a political operative, admitted that he was behind the robocall that spoofed Biden’s voice on the eve of the New Hampshire primary and urged Democrats in the state not to vote. Kramer was working for Biden’s challenger Dean Phillips, but Phillips’s campaign said he had nothing to do with the call and Kramer has said he did it as an act of civil disobedience to draw attention to the dangers of AI in elections. The incident may have been the first time AI was used to interfere in a US election.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs – three New Hampshire voters who received the calls and the League of Women Voters, a voting rights group – said they believed it was the first lawsuit of its kind seeking redress for using AI in robocalls in elections. The New Hampshire attorney general’s office is investigating the matter.

Two Texas companies, Life Corporation and Lingo Telecom, also helped facilitate the calls.

“If Defendants are not permanently enjoined from deploying AI-generated robocalls, there is a strong likelihood that it will happen again,” the lawsuit says…