China’s Use of AI to Influence US Elections Raises Concerns, Microsoft Warns

A new report from Microsoft reveals how Chinese social media accounts are using AI to influence elections in East Asian countries and the US. According to the report released by Microsoft Threat Intelligence, accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party have been sharing AI-generated memes, videos, and audio online as part of a propaganda campaign targeting East Asian countries to influence elections and spread misinformation.

The report highlights instances where AI-generated media has been used to create outrage and sway elections in East Asia. Chinese government-linked accounts have also posted AI-generated content aimed at causing chaos in the US. For example, one AI-generated picture blamed the 2023 fires in Hawaii on a US-made “weather weapon,” while another piece of media aimed to sow mistrust in the government after a train derailment in Kentucky.

Many of the messages shared on Chinese social media platforms ask followers to comment about which presidential candidates they support, suggesting that the accounts may be gathering intelligence on key voting demographics in the US. While Microsoft noted that the threat of AI-generated media influencing elections remains low for now, they warned that China’s efforts could become more effective in the future.

This report comes after the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a threat assessment of China, which stated that China aims to sow doubts about US leadership, undermine democracy, and extend Beijing’s influence through social media manipulation. Both the agency’s report and Microsoft’s report mention “Spamouflage” accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party that share divisive and often AI-generated content.

The US government report also drew parallels between China’s current influence campaign and Russia’s tactics in 2016 when troll farms posted election disinformation to sway the presidential election. Reuters reported in March that during his time as president, Trump authorized a CIA program to smear the Chinese government on social media.

By Samantha Robertson

As a seasoned content writer at newsderf.com, my passion for storytelling and creativity shines through in every article I craft. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, I thrive on translating complex topics into engaging reads that resonate with our diverse audience. My goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire readers through thought-provoking content that leaves a lasting impact. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the world of news together.

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