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School athletic director arrested for framing principal using AI voice synthesis

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On Thursday, Baltimore County Police arrested Pikesville High School’s former athletic director, Dazhon Darien, and charged him with using AI to impersonate Principal Eric Eiswert, according to a report by The Baltimore Banner. Police say Darien used AI voice synthesis software to simulate Eiswert’s voice, leading the public to believe the principal made racist and antisemitic comments.

The audio clip, posted on a popular Instagram account, contained offensive remarks about “ungrateful Black kids” and their academic performance, as well as a threat to “join the other side” if the speaker received one more complaint from “one more Jew in this community.” The recording also mentioned names of staff members, including Darien’s nickname “DJ,” suggesting they should not have been hired or should be removed “one way or another.”

The comments led to significant uproar from students, faculty, and the wider community, many of whom initially believed the principal had actually made the comments. A Pikesville High School teacher named Shaena Ravenell reportedly played a large role in disseminating the audio. While she has not been charged, police indicated that she forwarded the controversial email to a student known for their ability to quickly spread information through social media. This student then escalated the audio’s reach, which included sharing it with the media and the NAACP.

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