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### Leveraging Deepfake Technology and AI Speech Replicas for Political Campaigns: A Strategy to Engage Voters

Artificial intelligence is allowing university presidents to reach students in new ways—and forms. …

Astrid Tuminez’s friendly yet authoritative demeanor conveys a security public service announcement as she narrates alongside an animated version of herself. Throughout the video, the President of Utah Valley University cautions viewers about risks such as hacking and phone scams before a surprising twist unfolds. The seemingly human voice resembling Tuminez’s is actually generated by an artificial intelligence-powered application.

The message encourages individuals to trust their instincts when something feels off. While the AI mimics President Tuminez’s speech, a sudden turn of events occurs. The real Tuminez appears and emphasizes the importance of competence, stating, “Just as my voice can be replicated, so can yours; always strive for excellence.”

Tuminez joins a growing list of academic leaders exploring the realm of artificial intelligence. Jonathan Gibralter, the chairman of Wells College, penned his inaugural speech using ChatGPT in June, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas unveiled an AI representation of their president last year.

The integration of AI technology offers numerous advantages in enhancing student engagement and retention, yet experts caution against potential risks and pitfalls.

The narrative delves into the behind-the-scenes creation of AI avatars, highlighting UNLV as one of the pioneers in fully utilizing AI bots. President Keith Whitfield’s digital counterpart was introduced in March 2022, aiming to establish a unique connection between the president and the university community.

Whitfield expressed his desire to engage with a vast audience, acknowledging the limitations of personal interaction due to the university’s large student body. The innovative solution involved developing an interactive digital president capable of answering over 1,000 inquiries from students, staff, and faculty over seven months of collaboration with an external entity.

The evolution of AI technology has significantly advanced, enabling institutions like Utah Valley University to replicate Tuminez’s message in just one month. This initiative, spearheaded by Christina Baum, the Chief Information Officer of UVU, aimed to combat the rising incidents of cyber scams and enhance security measures through AI interventions.

As the video garnered over 8,000 views since its release, Baum emphasized the importance of staying ahead in the technological landscape to thwart malicious activities effectively.

Tuminez stresses the necessity for educational institutions to prioritize discussions on security and technological advancements, underscoring the significance of strategic planning and awareness among university administrators.

While some institutions embrace AI for various applications, others approach the integration cautiously. The narrative explores the University at Buffalo’s consultation with Siwei Lyu, a professor of computer science and engineering, regarding personalized video messages for incoming students.

The potential benefits of AI-driven initiatives are juxtaposed with challenges such as managing expectations and ensuring transparency to avoid misconceptions among recipients.

The story also touches upon instances where AI deployment faced scrutiny, such as Harvard University’s incident involving a deepfake of President Claudine Gay. The need for ethical considerations and clear communication regarding AI applications becomes evident in such cases.

In conclusion, the narrative underscores the delicate balance between leveraging AI advancements for educational purposes and maintaining human-centric values in academic settings. The evolving landscape of AI necessitates a comprehensive understanding of its implications and ethical considerations to harness its potential effectively.

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Last modified: February 26, 2024
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