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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Indian voters targeted with millions of deepfakes as political candidates give approval

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In Short:

In Ajmer, India, local politician Rathore is being cloned using AI technology for voter outreach during the general election. Deepfake service providers like Divyendra Singh Jadoun are creating AI-generated speeches and campaign songs for politicians, including resurrecting deceased politicians to endorse their successors. This technology makes voter outreach easier and more effective, potentially influencing the election outcomes in the world’s largest democracy.

Deepfake Technology Revolutionizing Indian Politics

On a scorching April day in Ajmer, Rajasthan, local politician Shakti Singh Rathore nervously sat in front of a greenscreen to shoot a short video. It was his first time being cloned. Dressed in a white shirt and a saffron scarf with the BJP logo, Rathore greeted his audience in Hindi before the director, Divyendra Singh Jadoun, intervened to ensure a smooth capture for an AI deepfake creation.

Shakti Singh Rathore’s speech being generated in multiple languages. Video: Nilesh Christopher/Divyendra Singh Jadoun/WIRED

Impact of Deepfakes in Indian Elections

As India gears up for its general election, deepfakes are becoming a significant factor. Political parties are leveraging AI technology to manipulate videos, images, and audio content for propaganda. However, the focus in India has shifted towards utilizing deepfakes for voter outreach rather than spreading misinformation.

Polymath Synthetic Media Solutions, led by Divyendra Singh Jadoun, is at the forefront of this trend, providing deepfake services to politicians. Jadoun’s firm has worked on several AI campaigns this election season, including resurrecting deceased politicians for endorsements and creating propaganda songs. The use of deepfake technology has significantly simplified the voter outreach process for politicians.

AI-generated campaign song for local politician Ram Chandra Choudhary in Ajmer. Audio: Divyendra Singh Jadoun

Changing Landscape of Political Campaigning

While not a candidate this year, Shakti Singh Rathore is among millions of BJP volunteers working to secure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. With the assistance of deepfakes, politicians like Rathore can now reach out to voters more effectively without extensive physical campaigning.

Divyendra Singh Jadoun transitioned from a political career to leading the deepfake technology movement in Indian politics. His expertise has reshaped the way politicians engage with voters, offering a new avenue for personalized communication and outreach.

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