AI Allows Government Officials to Expand Reach

( – The march toward living in a dystopian sci-fi novel continues as developers push artificial intelligence (AI) further and such systems are integrated, more and more, into everyday life and society. The latest development comes from the office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Adams is utilizing AI to perform robotic calls that feature his voice speaking in different languages he doesn’t actually know how to speak, which is raising some ethical questions by some concerned about the spread of AI and the right for disclosure of when such systems are being used.

Reporters found out about the robocalls from Adams on Monday and some of the different languages. It wasn’t disclosed that AI technology was being used to generate and make the calls, or that Adams only actually speaks English.

The mayor joked that people stop him on the street “all the time” and tell him, “I didn’t know you speak Mandarin.” He then confirmed that the city has been using robocalls with “different languages to speak directly” to New York’s diverse population.

One watchdog group described the robocalls as an “unethical” use of AI that is misleading to residents. Albert Fox Cahn, director of the organization called the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, accused the mayor of “making deep fakes of himself.” Cahn said Adams is using “the taxpayer’s dime” to employ AI that convinces New York City residents “that he speaks languages that he doesn’t,” which Cahn called “outright Orwellian.”

Cahn admitted that although he thinks announcements are needed in different languages for the diverse population of New York, he believes Adams’ robocalls are nothing more than “a creepy vanity project.”

Adams dismissed the ethical questions about his use of AI, saying he has “to run the city” and to do that requires being able to “speak to people,” which he said he’s happy to do.

Copyright 2023,