Election Warfare: Hillary Clinton Sounds The AI Alarm Revealing How Advanced Tech Could Make A Dark Influence On Future Votes

By Jennifer Wentworth | Sunday, 31 March 2024 09:30 AM
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In a recent panel discussion, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her concerns about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on future elections, drawing from her own experiences as a target of election disinformation in 2016.

The event, titled "AI’s Impact on the 2024 Global Elections," was hosted by Columbia University.

Reflecting on her 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton recalled the proliferation of memes, false content, and conspiracy theories about her on the internet. "I don't think any of us understood it. I did not understand it. I can tell you, my campaign did not understand it," she admitted.

She further elaborated on the role of the ‘Dark Web’ in disseminating these narratives, stating, "The so-called ‘Dark Web’ was filled with these kinds of memes and stories and videos of all sorts…portraying me in all kinds of… less than flattering ways."

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Clinton argued that the transition of this false content to social media platforms was a significant factor in its widespread acceptance among the public. "There are people today who think I've done all these terrible things because they saw it on the internet," she said. She also warned of the primitive nature of these efforts, stating, "And what they did to me was primitive."

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The former Democratic presidential nominee expressed concern that the online conspiracies about her are now being used to develop more sophisticated false content using advanced technology. "What we're talking about now is the leap in technology that we're dealing with," she said. Clinton also shared her worries about the potential for defamatory videos that are so realistic that viewers cannot distinguish between truth and fabrication.

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The potential prevalence of deepfakes — AI-generated videos, audio, or images that depict altered or entirely fabricated scenarios — has already raised concern among U.S. officials. This technology could pose a significant threat to the integrity of the upcoming November elections and the 2024 election cycle.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray recently warned about the risks posed by AI technology in election meddling. In a speech last month, he stated, "This election cycle, the U.S. will face more adversaries moving at a faster pace and enabled by new technology."

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He further noted that advances in generative AI are lowering the barrier to entry, making it easier for both more and less sophisticated foreign adversaries to engage in malign influence.

The potential impact of AI on future elections is a growing concern among U.S. officials. As technology advances, the threat of election disinformation and foreign interference becomes increasingly sophisticated and challenging to detect.

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