China to Use AI for Election Disruption in US, South Korea, and India

( – A recent report from Microsoft said China will use AI-generated content to disrupt upcoming elections around the world, but would most likely target high-profile elections in South Korea, India, and the United States. Microsoft said China conducted a trial run during the Taiwanese presidential election. A group known as Storm 1376 or Spamouflage backed by Beijing was “notably active” in circulating AI-generated content such as memes and fake audio endorsements to influence voter perception of candidates

The main threat caused by AI is the generation of fake content or “deepfakes” to influence voters. This can even include the generation of content on events that never took place. During the Taiwanese elections, AI-generated TV news anchors were used to spread false claims about candidate William Lai’s private life. A tool called CapCut was used to create the news anchors. CapCup was developed by ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok. An AI-generated audio clip of Terry Gou endorsing another candidate after dropping out of the race himself was removed after being posted on YouTube.

According to Microsoft the use of Chinese AI-generated content has increased in recent months. Accounts tied to the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) promoted false information by claiming the U.S. caused the wildfires in Hawaii in August of 2023 while testing a military “weather weapon” and also caused a train derailment in Kentucky the same year. Social media accounts tied to the CCP continuously post about divisive U.S. subjects including global warming, racial issues, and immigration.

Prior to the 2024 Democratic primaries in New Hampshire, a phone call circulated with an AI-generated voice that impersonated President Joe Biden discouraging voters from participating. The voice indicated voters should wait and vote in the November election instead.

The Microsoft report was published the same week the company was accused by an official review board appointed by the White House, of “a cascade of errors” that allowed Chinese hackers to break into email accounts of U.S. officials.

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