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Election disinformation takes a big leap with AI being used to deceive worldwide

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People are reflected in a window of a hotel at the Davos Promenade in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
Updated 8:46 AM CET, March 14, 2024

LONDON (AP) — Artificial intelligence is supercharging the threat of election disinformation worldwide, making it easy for anyone with a smartphone and a devious imagination to create fake – but convincing – content aimed at fooling voters.

It marks a quantum leap from a few years ago, when creating phony photos, videos or audio clips required teams of people with time, technical skill and money. Now, using free and low-cost generative artificial intelligence services from companies like Google and OpenAI, anyone can create high-quality “deepfakes” with just a simple text prompt.

A wave of AI deepfakes tied to elections in Europe and Asia has coursed through social media for months, serving as a warning for more than 50 countries heading to the polls this year.

“You don’t need to look far to see some people … being clearly confused as to whether something is real or not,” said Henry Ajder, a leading expert in generative AI based in Cambridge, England.


Experts warn AI and deepfakes will likely be worse in the coming elections.
Here’s how governments and organizations are responding to the threat.

AI-powered misinformation and disinformation is emerging as a risk as people in a slew of countries head to the polls. Read more on the 25 elections in 2024 that could change the world, and take a look at more of the AP’s global elections coverage.



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