2024 US Presidential Contest Could Be First 'AI Election', Warns CEO

The AI boss predicted foreign powers are likely to get involved.

In an era where technology blurs the lines between reality and fiction, the spectre of deepfakes created by artificial intelligence (AI) tools casts a long shadow over the democratic process. With the upcoming US presidential election looming, the spread of AI deepfakes poses a grave threat to the integrity of the electoral system. And the CEO of a prominent AI company has suggested that the technology could “threaten democracy” in the US unless it is controlled. Many prominent voices, including Elon Musk, have raised concern against the rapid spread of AI and Simona Vasyte is the latest to join the list.

“We’ve seen an AI-generated video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ‘asking’ Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their weapons. It’s entirely possible to see similar generated videos of presidential candidates right before the election,” Ms Vasyte, the head of Perfection42, told Newsweek.

“Another tactic might be to encourage youth voters not to vote in the election with fake videos on TikTok… If the election is close, it might become a determining factor, and that is definitely concerning,” she added.

The AI boss predicted foreign powers are likely to get involved.

The incident Ms Vasyte talked about happened in March 2023, when an unknown group – believed to be hackers – uploaded a deepfake video onto a Ukrainian news website of Mr Zelensky telling his soldiers to stop fighting. It was debunked, but the news renewed concerns around how deepfakes could be used to influence politics.

Ms Vasyte pointed towards Russia, hinting it might interfere with the election using AI.

“It’s important to note that AI can be used not only for malicious but also for positive content generation, so in that case, it might be the first major ‘AI election’ where both parties will try to keep up with the changing game of campaigning,” she said while speaking to Newsweek.

“The closer the race, the bigger the impact of AI will be during the election period,” Ms Vasyte added.

The tech entrepreneur called for a strong legislation to check the rapid spread of deepfakes.


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