Incident 202: Korean Politician Employed Deepfake as Campaign Representative

Description: A South Korean political candidate created a deepfake avatar which political opponents alleged to be fraudulent and a threat to democracy.


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Alleged: unknown developed an AI system deployed by Yoon Suk-yeol and Yoon Suk-yeol's campaign, which harmed Korean public.

Incident Stats

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Incident Date
Khoa Lam
[Election 2022] AI spokesman, avatars enter election campaigns · 2021

Presidential candidates show off their digital engagement with AI avatars.

At the kickoff ceremony of an election committee for the main opposition party’s presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, a familiar face showed up to encourage support…

Presidential candidates' computer-generated avatars heat up debate · 2021

Korea's presidential candidates are capitalizing on digital technologies to win more support by having virtual characters powered by artificial intelligence (AI) substitute for themselves in election campaigns.

The attempts, however, are sp…

Is South Korean the world’s first official deepfake candidate? · 2022

In a crowded campaign office in Seoul, young, trendy staffers are using deepfake technology to try to achieve the near-impossible: make a middle-aged, establishment South Korean presidential candidate cool.

Armed with hours of specially-rec…

These Campaigns Hope ‘Deepfake’ Candidates Help Get Out the Vote · 2022

South Korean presidential front-runners court younger voters with avatars—who are wittier and more likable

SEOUL—Wearing a dark suit and red tie, Yoon Suk-yeol, the main opposition party’s candidate for South Korean president, stared into t…

In South Korea, AI deepfakes of politicians are being used to win the hearts of the people · 2022

As a star prosecutor in South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, the leading conservative candidate in the country’s presidential election, helped imprison two former presidents as well as the head of Samsung and a former chief justice of South Korea’s …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.