Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting frighteningly close to being able to mimic humans, and advances in the technology could be a major risk for democracies worldwide.
That's the worry held by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a U.S.-European organization looking at combating interference in Western elections by hostile foreign actors.
It was set up last year by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark's former prime minister and ex-secretary general of NATO, and Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of homeland security, and is part of Rasmussen's political foundation, the Alliance of Democracies. Members include former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and ex-Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Using technology developed by London-based AI firm ASI Data Science, the pro-democracy group focused its attention on a new phenomenon in online communities known as "deepfakes," computer-generated video or audio made to look or sound as though someone is doing or saying something they have not. ASI gained attention earlier this year for its work with the British government on spotting and removing online Jihadist propaganda.
The commission and ASI recently developed an online quiz where users can listen to audio from human impersonators of President Donald Trump — including the voices of comedian Alec Baldwin on "Saturday Night Live" and award-winning Trump impersonator John Di Domenico — alongside algorithm-generated audio mimicking Trump's voice repeating their lines.