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Bill Gates’s Warning: AI Could Undermine, Tilt Elections

Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates, has warned about the potential misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. In a blog post dated July 11, Gates expressed his concerns that the tools could be used to manipulate electoral outcomes, particularly in tightly contested races.

“Deepfakes and misinformation generated by AI could undermine elections and democracy … AI-generated deepfakes could be used to try to tilt an election,” he wrote.

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Bill Gates warns of election manipulation via deep fake technologies

He envisages a scenario in which a fake video goes viral on the day of a significant election, leading to last-minute changes in voting behavior that could potentially influence the final result.

Gates’ comments come when deepfake technologies have sparked widespread debate.

Deceptive AI-generated images of top political figures

A Twitter account named DeSantis War Room shared AI-generated images purporting to show Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci in close contact.

Senator JD Vance (Ohio) later revealed these images to be fraudulent. Furthermore, a deepfake video of Hillary Clinton endorsing DeSantis for the presidency circulated in April.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Microsoft invests heavily in AI technology

Interestingly, despite Gates’ warning, Microsoft, the company he co-founded, is heavily invested in AI technology.

It has reportedly injected $13 billion into OpenAI, the creator of the widely used AI chatbot, ChatGPT, and integrated OpenAI’s code into its Bing search engine and other services.

Companies, agencies combat deep fakes with emerging detection technology

Although Gates acknowledges that deepfakes remain unsolved, he remains “guardedly optimistic,” believing that people can discern between genuine content and fakes.

Companies like Intel have already developed deepfake detectors, while the government agency DARPA is researching technologies to identify manipulated video or audio.

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The threat of micro-targeted misinformation to democracy

This issue of AI-generated misinformation is a serious concern for the future of democratic processes.

As Anders Corr, a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., wrote in The Epoch Times, “Through micro-targeting, micro-production, and micro-delivery of subtle propaganda, AI could determine democratic decision-making outcomes like at no other time in history, thereby making those formerly democratic processes undemocratic.”

Credits: DepositPhotos

Taking action against political deepfakes

In response to these concerns, OpenAI has prohibited using AI tools for political campaigning or lobbying.

Advocacy organization Public Citizen has also urged the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to ban political deepfakes.

The organization’s president, Robert Weissman, stated, “Generative A.I. now poses a significant threat to truth and democracy as we know it.”

AI-generated deep fakes stir public concern

Public opinion mirrors these concerns, with a recent Ipsos poll indicating that 76 percent of respondents are worried about AI-generated deepfakes driving misinformation.

Despite this, Gates believes AI can also help counter these issues, suggesting that halting AI advancements, as some have proposed, is not the solution.

However, not everyone shares Gates’ optimism.

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Godfather of AI Hinton warns about AI’s potential dangers

At the Collision tech conference, Geoffrey Hinton, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and known as one of the “godfathers of AI,” warned about the potential dangers of AI seizing control from humans in its pursuit of programmed goals.

This wide range of views reflects the current debate surrounding AI and its implications.

As technology advances, the critical question of regulating it will remain at the forefront, particularly in sensitive areas such as politics.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!