New Orleans magician paid to make fake Joe Biden robocalls

A New Orleans magician was paid to make fake Joe Biden robocalls, reports NBC News.

"I created the audio used in the robocall. I did not distribute it," Carpenter said in an interview in New Orleans, where he is currently residing. "I was in a situation where someone offered me some money to do something, and I did it. There was no malicious intent. I didn't know how it was going to be distributed."

On Jan. 22, when NBC News first broke the news of the fake Biden robocall, Steve Kramer texted Carpenter a link to the story along with the message, "Shhhhhhh," to which Carpenter replied, "Gtfooh," an acronym used to express astonishment. 

Huh? Usually, when New Orleans comes up in the news, it's about performers or something bad, typically the two aren't together. But today, in a strange tale of vaudevillian vice, magic met political tomfoolery, which honestly is also very New Orleanian, but doesn't always make the news.

We've all done strange gigs on Craigslist and wondered where those lost auditions went off to. Traditionally, though, if we ever catch wind of them again, it's in the form of a letter, telling us we are eligible to participate in a class-action lawsuit, and not one big enough to be newsworthy. I have not yet had the pleasure of knowing that my creation was piped into people's homes, encouraging them to not go to the polls as told by the AI-synthesized voice of President Joe Biden.

"The only thing missing from the political circus is a magician and here I am," said Carpenter

Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News

Paul Carpenter holds the world records for fork bending and escaping a straight jacket. Illustrious as that is, those skills alone are probably not sufficient to make ends meet, even in New Orleans, a town of hypertalented odds n' ends with a sizeable tourism population seeking oddball entertainment. This is my speculation. All I know is that Carpenter, who's never voted, was paid $150 to make the AI recording by Steve Kramer.

Perhaps this will lead to legislation regarding deepfakes and AI generated content?

Previously: FCC bans AI voices in robocalls