NYC mayor Eric Adams robocalls residents with audio deepfakes

Occurred: October 2023

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The Mayor of New York City has been calling local residents using audio deepfakes to communicate in languages he doesn't speak. 


The Office of the Mayor used ElevenLabs' AI voice simulator to generate Eric Adams' voice speaking Spanish, Yiddish, Mandarin, and Cantonese in order 'to reach more people' when he was promoting local events like recruitment fairs and concerts. 


According to the mayor, some people be had 'spoken to' were 'excited' to hear their mayor in their own language.


Campaigners criticised the mayor's calls as 'unethical' and 'deeply irresponsible' as he failed to inform people that his voice had been artificially generated. 

Databank

Operator: Office of the Mayor of New York City
Developer: ElevenLabs
Country: USA
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Communicate with citizens
Technology: Deepfake - audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: 
Transparency: Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023