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Microsoft Warns That China Will Use AI To Disrupt Elections In The US, South Korea, And India 

Beijing tried swaying Taiwanese voters against a pro-sovereignty candidate with AI-generated content. After practicing with Taiwan’s presidential election, Microsoft has warned that China will try to influence elections within the US, South Korea, and India this year using AI-generated content. 

The US IT firm’s threat intelligence division released a study on Friday stating that the business expects North Korea and Chinese state-backed cyber groups to attack high-profile elections in 2024. According to the research, “as populations in India, South Korea and the United States head to the polls,” it is said that Chinese cyber and influence actors, as well as North Korean cyber actors to a lesser degree, will likely target these elections. 

To “benefit their positions in these high-profile elections,” Microsoft claims that China will “at a minimum” use AI to produce and disseminate material through social media. Also, the company mentioned that AI-generated material hasn’t had much effect so far. 

ControlAI on X: "Microsoft have put out a warning about the severe threat of of generative AI materials being used for electoral interference. Half of the world's population is set to vote

According to Microsoft, “China’s increasing experimentation in augmenting memes, videos, and audio will continue – and may prove effective down the line.” The company acknowledged that the influence of such content on audiences is yet minimal but predicted that it would grow. 

According to Microsoft, the research states that during the January Taiwan presidential election, China used an AI-generated misinformation campaign. They said that it was the first instance of a state-backed organization trying to influence an international election using AI-generated information. 

Throughout the Taiwanese election, a Beijing-backed group going by several names, Storm 1376, Spamouflage, and Dragonbridge, was quite active. Election candidate Terry Gou, who had already dropped out in November, was one of the targets of its efforts to sway the vote by uploading false audio to YouTube claiming to support an opponent. The video was “likely AI-generated,” according to Microsoft. Before it could reach a large audience, YouTube erased the video. 

William Lai, the winning candidate and a pro-sovereignty candidate who faced opposition from Beijing, was the target of a string of AI-generated memes that falsely accused Lai of embezzling state funds. A trend toward using AI-generated newsroom anchors has emerged, a strategy that Iran has also employed; one such “anchor” made baseless accusations about Lai’s personal life, including that he fathered illegitimate children. 

According to Microsoft, the news anchors were generated using the CapCut tool. This tool is built by ByteDance, a Chinese business that owns TikTok. Microsoft also noted that Chinese organizations are still launching influence operations in the United States. It stated that individuals sponsored by Beijing are utilizing social networking accounts to ask “divisive questions” and try to figure out what divisions exist among US voters. 

Microsoft stated on their blog that the purpose of this could be to collect data and information about certain voting demographics in the lead-up to the US presidential election. 

A bipartisan bill in the United States, It was valued at $118 billion and included a $75 billion package for Ukraine and Israel and a $20 billion investment in the US-Mexico border; it was the subject of one post on X. “What’s your reaction?” it asked. A third person brought up the incident of an F-35 fighter jet going down in South Carolina last year, claiming that “only under the Biden administration” could such a significant piece of military equipment go missing (though parts of the plane were recovered shortly after that) and then questioned, “what do you think about this?” 

This news came out the same week that an official review board created by the White House found that “a cascade of errors” at Microsoft allowed cyber operators backed by the Chinese state to get access to the email accounts of high-ranking US officials. US and British officials launched accusations last month that hackers with ties to China had been running a cyber campaign against prominent figures, news outlets, companies, and the UK’s electoral commission for several years. 

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at AI Surge is a dedicated team of experts led by Paul Robins, boasting a combined experience of over 7 years in Computer Science, AI, emerging technologies, and online publishing. Our commitment is to bring you authoritative insights into the forefront of artificial intelligence.
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