Indian Politician of BJP took the use of AI too far

  • AUTHOR: fiona
  • POSTED ON: February 19, 2020

As the social media keeps growing, the risk of political influences and biases also increases which is pretty evident in the class-action lawsuit that Mark Zuckerberg is facing right now for placing unnecessary advertisements that can tamper with people’s beliefs.

Source: Wikipedia

Amid this chaos, an Indian politician, Manoj Tiwari of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) released a video where he used Artificial Intelligence techniques to communicate in a different language. And what’s even worse is that most of the translations are fabricated. So basically, his own words are not even close to the content that reached to the audiences.

In the campaign video, he speaks in English, but the audio and video were synthesised by AI to fake it in the Hindi dialect of Haryanvi. The issues he addressed in the fabricated video were completely absent from the original speech and this has made the BJP more unpopular within the masses.

The political communication agency, The Ideaz Manufacturing Facility, disclosed that they had been working with Manoj Tiwari to promote “optimistic campaigns” to reach a wider audience through dubbing and lip-syncing, a technique quite prevalent in the movies. 

Source: The Verge                                                                                                   Source: Hindustan Times

But they took a step too far, and instead of using automated speech translators to convert what Tiwari was actually saying, the Artificial Intelligence miscommunicated his agendas to the people.

The spokesperson of the communications agency, Sagar Vishnoi, said, “We used a ‘lip-sync’ deepfake algorithm and skilled it with speeches of Manoj Tiwari to translate audio sounds into primary mouth shapes.” So their objective was to reach more voters who do not speak the official languages of the country.

India is spread over 1,269,219 sq. m and while English and Hindi are used for communication in administration, Indian citizens speak hundreds of other languages with various dialects. However, what Mr Tiwari and the agency have done counts as sheer manipulation because it conveys false information, which in itself is one of the biggest issues of political platforms these days. 

The video was viewed by 15 million people all across the country and dropping such a bombshell when thousands of activists are campaigning for the removal of “misleading media” will surely not work in favor of BJP. The party is already quite unpopular due to the controversial decision of revoking Article 370, causing major disruption in Jammu and Kashmir and introducing CAA that has seen significant resistance, leading to widespread violence.

From Nancy Pelosi to Barack Obama, most politicians have landed in trouble in the West for using synthetic intelligence to communicate their political agendas and social media platforms are now completely banning “dubbed” videos to avoid the spread of misinformation.

So undoubtedly such a move by the ruling party of India was not received well by the opponents but whether or not the administration will take any action to stop the misleading videos is yet to be decided.

Updated February 19, 2020
Back To Top