Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Fake AI

Baltimore principal and athletic director responsible for AI video
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Perhaps you have heard of the white high school principal in Baltimore who was removed from his position for allegedly making racist and antisemitic comments. I say “allegedly” since he didn’t make any of those comments. The audio was an AI-generated attempt to mimic his voice so that the school’s former black athletic director could get him fired.

As one commentator quipped, “Jessie Smollett must be devastated he didn’t think of this first!” Anyone who wants to perpetrate a fake hate crime or ruin the reputation of someone they hate only needs to use AI to accomplish the task.

The clip was posted to a popular Instagram account in the Baltimore community. This prompted an investigation from school officials and the police department. It was also sent to three teachers. One of them forwarded the email with the phony audio clip to the media and to the NAACP. She also forwarded it to a student who she knew would spread the message around to various social media outlets and throughout the school.

You can imagine the results and the amount of grief that came down on the head of the high school principal. I have likened spreading gossip on social media to opening a down pillow in the wind. You will never get the feathers back into the pillow.

I have written many radio commentaries about fake hate crimes over the last 14 years of doing these commentaries. This is a first, but it will not be the last. As one commentator put it, “hate hoaxers are using AI. It was bound to come to this.”

My message to media is not to be so trusting of an audio or video clip. You need to be more skeptical. At the very least, report your story with a disclaimer that you haven’t checked the veracity of the clip.

My message to you is simple: don’t trust everything you see or hear. viewpoints new web version

Viewpoints sign-up