AI resurrects long dead dictator, reigniting deepfake era of electioneering.


An AI-generated deepfake video of the late dictator Suharto has been circulating online ahead of the upcoming elections in Indonesia. The video, created using tools that cloned Suharto’s face and voice, was intended to encourage voters to support Golkar, one of Indonesia’s largest political parties closely associated with Suharto. However, critics have raised ethical concerns about the use of deepfakes in political propaganda. The online world plays a significant role in Indonesian politics, and deepfakes have the potential to greatly influence elections by swaying and manipulating voters. Other political parties in Indonesia have also used AI and deepfakes for political gain, including creating animated videos and interactive chatbots. The Indonesian government has issued advisories warning tech companies and voters to be cautious of deepfakes, but there are concerns about the potential for voter manipulation, particularly in close proximity to the election. Suharto’s rule as a dictator is considered one of the most corrupt and brutal periods in Indonesia’s history, and discussion of his legacy remains largely taboo in the country. Despite this, the video’s virality suggests that Suharto still has many supporters in Indonesia, and his image continues to linger in the country.