Jan 26, 2024

WIRED: Hany Farid Says Biden Robocall Is Likely To Be Made by ElevenLabs


Researchers Say the Deepfake Biden Robocall Was Likely Made With Tools From AI Startup ElevenLabs

By Kate Knibbs

Last week, some voters in New Hampshire received an AI-generated robocall impersonating President Biden, telling them not to vote in the state’s primary election. It’s not clear who was responsible for the call, but two separate teams of audio experts tell WIRED it was likely created using technology from voice-cloning startup ElevenLabs...

Hany Farid, a digital forensics specialist at the UC Berkeley School of Information, was initially skeptical of claims that the Biden robocall came from ElevenLabs. “When you hear the audio from a cloned voice from ElevenLabs, it’s really good,” he says. “The version of the Biden call that I heard was not particularly good, but the cadence was really funky. It just didn’t sound of the quality that I would have expected from ElevenLabs.”

But when Farid had his team at Berkeley conduct its own, independent analysis of the audio sample obtained by Pindrop, it too reached the same conclusion. “Our model says with high confidence that it is AI-generated and likely to be ElevenLabs,” he claims...


Hany Farid is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and the School of Information at UC Berkeley.

Photo of Hany Farid smiling
Hany Farid (photo by Brittany Hosea-Small for the School of Information)

Last updated:

February 6, 2024