High school athletic director used AI to fake racist recording of principal, police say

High school athletic director used AI to fake racist recording of principal, police say

The athletic director of Pikesville High School in Maryland was arrested Thursday morning in connection with an artificial intelligence-made audio clip of the school’s principal having a fake, racist conversation.

Dazhon Darien, 31, is charged with disrupting school activities after Baltimore County Police say he created the falsified audio recording of Eric Eiswert in January. The audio clip using the principal’s voice went viral and was swiftly condemned by the Baltimore County community. The school was inundated with outraged calls and needed an increased police presence and additional counselors.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police arrested Darien as he was boarding a plane to Houston from BWI Marshall Airport. Law enforcement officers flagged Darien’s bag for the way he packaged a gun in his checked luggage and discovered he had an active arrest warrant.

Baltimore County Police Chief Robert McCullough said police intended to serve the warrant Thursday. He didn’t know whether Darien was trying to flee or had travel plans.

Darien is also charged with theft, retaliating against a witness and stalking. He was released on a $5,000 bond from the Baltimore County Detention Center. He doesn’t have an attorney listed in online court records and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County’s state’s attorney, said this is the first time his office has prosecuted a case related to AI, and one of the first his office could find in the country . State lawmakers will need to update criminal statutes to include the new technology next legislative session, he said.

“In this particular case, we obviously had some statutes that were right on point, but we do in fact need to take a look at some others,” Shellenberger said at a Thursday news conference. “[We] also need to take a broader look at how this technology can be used and abused to harm other people.” He added that the charge of disrupting school activities carries a sentence of only six months.

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