HomeEthics & SocietyGym teacher arrested for AI clone of principal’s voice

Gym teacher arrested for AI clone of principal’s voice

A Baltimore highschool athletic director was arrested on Thursday after police said he had allegedly used AI to create a fake audio clip of the college’s principal.

In January, we reported on the audio clip that presupposed to be a recording of Pikesville High principal Eric Eiswert making racist and antisemitic comments about staff and students.

At the time, Eiswert denied the authenticity of the audio, and claims were made that the clip was an AI fake.

The widely shared audio clip led to Eiswert losing his job temporarily while the authenticity of the audio was investigated. The backlash from teachers, students, and others in the neighborhood who believed the clip was real upended Eiswert’s life.

If you take heed to the audio clip it’s easy to know why people believed it was real.


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Experts have now concluded that the audio was an AI fake based on the audio’s flat tone, lack of consistent respiratory sounds or pauses, and unusually clean background sounds.

It is alleged that Dazhon Darien, Pikesville High’s former athletic director, made the AI fake in retaliation for Eiswert launching an investigation into his misuse of college funds.

Dazhon Darien has been arrested and charged with disrupting school operations, theft, retaliating against a witness, and stalking. The charge sheet noted that Darien had used the college’s computers “to access OpenAI tools and Microsoft Bing Chat services.”

Absent from the list of charges was something which will soon be a criminal offense: using AI to fake someone’s voice.

Bills just like the No Fakes Act and the No AI Fraud Act have been filed within the US Congress but are yet to be passed. So when Darien used AI to create a non-consensual fake audio clip of Eiswert’s voice it technically wasn’t a criminal offense.

The proven fact that it took weeks for an authority to eventually confirm that the audio clip was a fake highlights just how unprepared society and authorities are to handle recent issues that generative AI presents.

The ease with which these fakes might be generated compounds the issue. If a gym teacher can put together a passable fake then imagine what more technically competent bad actors could achieve.

In the absence of a simple option to discover fake audio and video, our greatest defense could also be to assume things are fake until they’re confirmed as real.


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