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Microsoft Unveils China’s AI Plans for Disrupting Indian Elections

Microsoft has issued a warning, claiming that China is preparing to use artificial intelligence-generated information to sabotage the next elections in South Korea, the United States, and India.

The alert was issued following China’s test run of using artificial intelligence (AI) to sway the results of Taiwan’s presidential election. Microsoft’s threat intelligence team predicts that Chinese state-backed cyber groups, along with involvement from North Korea, are expected to target several elections scheduled for 2024. Microsoft said that China will likely deploy AI-generated content via social media to sway public opinion in favor of their interests during these elections.

The threat posed by political advertisements employing AI technology to produce deceptive and false content, including “deepfakes” or fabricating events that never took place, is significant in a crucial poll year. Such tactics aim to mislead the public regarding candidates’ statements, stances on various issues, and even the authenticity of certain events. If allowed to go unchecked, these manipulative attempts have the potential to undermine voters’ ability to make well-informed decisions.

While the immediate impact of AI-generated content remains relatively low, Microsoft warned that China’s increasing experimentation with this technology could potentially become more effective over time. The tech giant noted that China’s previous attempt to influence Taiwan’s election involved the dissemination of AI-generated disinformation, marking the first instance of a state-backed entity utilizing AI.

Microsoft pointed out that Chinese groups continue to conduct influence campaigns in the United States, leveraging social media platforms to pose divisive questions and gather intelligence on key voting demographics.

There has been an increased use of Chinese AI-generated content in recent months, attempting to influence and sow division in the US and elsewhere on a range of topics including the train derailment in Kentucky in November 2023, the Maui wildfires in August 2023, the disposal of Japanese nuclear wastewater, drug use in the US, immigration policies, and racial tensions in the country.

India’s general elections are scheduled to begin on April 19, with the results set to be declared on June 4. The electoral process will unfold across seven phases, with the current term of the 17th Lok Sabha Assembly ending on June 16. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has already provided guidelines and protocols for promptly identifying and responding to false information and misinformation.

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(Source: NDTV)

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