Venezuelan government spreads propaganda with AI-generated avatars

"A blond man presents a report for 'House of News En Español,' a pretend English-language newscast in which he tries to show that Venezuela's economy is not 'so destroyed,' because hotel occupancy for the upcoming Carnival holiday is already fully booked by Venezuelans eager to spend money on Caribbean beaches. In another video, a Black presenter shows profits generated by the Caribbean [Baseball] Series, held a week ago in Caracas.

The so-called journalists are Noah and Daren, two avatars created with artificial intelligence from a catalog of more than one hundred multiracial faces of the Synthesia software. [...] The videos of the fake presenters talking about Venezuela have gathered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, went viral on social media such as Tik Tok and were inserted as paid advertising on the platform. In addition, they were broadcast on the state-owned Venezolana de Televisión network, the main TV megaphone in favor of Nicolás Maduro's government.

Chavismo [the government of former president Hugo Chavez] has already used strategies such as bots and armies of paid tweeters to push tags and rarify conversations on social media. Now, [...] the complex propaganda apparatus orbiting the Venezuelan crisis has quickly incorporated artificial intelligence into its digital artillery."

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