Russian Propaganda Network Uses AI-Manipulated Biden Video

The TDR Four Key Takeaways Regarding Russian Propaganda Network Uses AI-Manipulated Biden Video: 

  • What happened: A Russian disinformation network used AI to generate a fake video of President Biden.
  • History: This incident is part of ongoing disinformation efforts by Russia, which has increasingly employed AI technology to create convincing fake content.
  • Why it matters: The use of AI in disinformation campaigns raises concerns about the spread of false information and its potential impact on political stability and public trust.
  • What is next: Authorities and tech companies need to develop better detection and countermeasures to combat AI-generated disinformation.

The Russian propaganda network has leveraged generative AI to create a manipulated video featuring President Joe Biden. This video, titled “Bye Bye Biden,” has gone viral on social media platforms, especially on X (formerly known as Twitter), amassing millions of views and shares.

The video portrays Biden in a negative light, suggesting he is senile, wears a diaper, and takes excessive medication. It also includes scenes implying Biden supports illegal migrants over U.S. citizens and references conspiracy theories about stolen elections promoted by former President Donald Trump. Created by a group called Little Bug, which mimics the style of the real Russian band Little Big, the video uses AI technology to alter the appearances of actors to resemble Biden and Trump.

Experts, including AI specialist Alex Fink, have analyzed the video and noted its inconsistencies and told the WIRED, indicating a rushed production process. “Biden and Trump appear to be the same actor, with deepfake video-editing changing his facial features until he resembles Biden in one case and Trump in the other,” says Fink. “The editing is inconsistent, so you can see that in some cases he resembles Biden more and in others less. The facial features keep changing.”

This AI-manipulated Biden video is a prime example of the growing use of deepfake technology in disinformation campaigns. The rise of AI-generated disinformation poses significant challenges to both the public and social media platforms. As technology advances, the line between reality and fiction becomes increasingly blurred, making it more difficult for viewers to discern truth from fabrication.

According to the Antibot4Navalny researchers, the Doppelganger operators behind the video trimmed it at arbitrary points, resulting in technically different versions by milliseconds. “They are likely considered as distinct unique videos by abuse-protection systems,” the researchers explained to WIRED. This tactic makes it harder for platforms to detect and remove the video, allowing it to spread more widely.

The ambiguous nature of the “Bye Bye Biden” video plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. “This one is unique in its ambiguity,” Fink said. “It’s maybe a known Russian band, but maybe not, maybe a deepfake, but maybe not, maybe has reference to other politicians but maybe not. In other words, it is a distinctly Soviet style of propaganda video. The ambiguity allows for multiple competing versions, which means hundreds of articles and arguments online, which leads to more people seeing it eventually.”

The strategic use of generative AI disinformation is part of a broader Kremlin-affiliated disinformation campaign. These campaigns aim to sow discord and confusion, particularly during election cycles. The AI-generated Biden video serves as a tool to amplify divisive narratives and undermine trust in public figures and institutions.

Clément Briens, an analyst at Recorded Future, highlighted the challenges in measuring the engagement with such disinformation content. “Estimating the engagement with the websites themselves remains a difficult task,” Briens said and reported on the WIRED. He added, “The AI-generated content is likely not garnering attention at all. However, it serves the purpose of helping establish these websites as credible assets for when they publish targeted content like deepfakes [which are] amplified by established Russian or pro-Russian influence actors with existing following and audiences.”

The “Bye Bye Biden” video exemplifies the sophisticated techniques used in Russian AI disinformation campaigns. By exploiting deepfake technology and generative AI, these campaigns create content that is not only misleading but also challenging to detect and debunk. Authorities and tech companies need to develop better detection and countermeasures to combat AI-generated disinformation. Want to be updated on Cannabis, AI, Small Cap, and Crypto? Subscribe to our Daily Baked in Newsletter!

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