AI Startup Tracked as Source of Catchy N.H. Primary Biden Deepfake

January 28, 2024
1 min read


– A deepfake robocall was traced back to AI startup ElevenLabs, which allows users to create voice clones of public figures like President Biden.
– The call, which urged Democratic voters to stay away from the polls during the New Hampshire primaries, was presented in such a way that voters might have been unaware that it was not actually Biden speaking.
– ElevenLabs traced the deepfake to a specific user and suspended their account. The Attorney General in New Hampshire is currently investigating the call as an unlawful attempt to disrupt the election.

An AI startup called ElevenLabs has been implicated in creating a deepfake robocall that targeted New Hampshire voters during the state’s presidential primary. The call, impersonating President Biden, encouraged Democratic voters to stay away from the polls. Voice-fraud detection company Pindrop Security Inc analyzed the audio and identified ElevenLabs’ technology as the creator of the deepfake. The company allows users to create voice clones of public figures, but states that it should only be done for parody or humor that is clear to the listener.

The deepfake robocall is currently being investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office. The call appeared as if it was coming from the personal cellphone of Kathy Sullivan, a former Democratic Party chair in the state. The AG’s office has described the call as an “unlawful attempt to disrupt” the election and suppress voters.

ElevenLabs was recently involved in an $80 million financing round that brought the startup’s value to an estimated $1.1 billion. Investors in the round included Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital. After the trace was made, ElevenLabs suspended the user’s account and took action to address the situation.

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