Microsoft says China will use AI to disrupt US elections

Microsoft says China will use AI to disrupt US elections

/ 12:47 PM April 09, 2024

Microsoft and other tech experts warned that artificial intelligence (AI) may threaten national elections, one of the most essential parts of democracy. 

Generative AI enables everyone to produce highly convincing text, photos, and videos, making it easier for some bad actors to make false content about celebrities and other prominent persons.

Microsoft may have proven these concerns in its latest blog. The tech giant said China will use AI to manipulate US elections and cited incidents as evidence.


READ: US, UK, NZ: China behind cyberattacks on democratic institutions


Microsoft shared insights from its Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC), which claimed that people associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “have started to pose contentious questions on controversial US domestic issues to better understand the key issues that divide US voters.”

Microsoft alleged China has been posting more AI-generated content to influence and divide US citizens on various topics.

The Chinese-affiliated network Storm 1376 or Spamouflage Dragonbridge reportedly spread the following pieces of misinformation to achieve this goal:

  • It claimed the Maui wildfires in August 2023 sparked due to the US government testing a military-grade “weather weapon.”
  • Storm 1376 urged audiences to consider whether the US government derailed a train carrying molten sulfur in Kentucky. Also, it compared the incident to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
  • The group accused the US of poisoning water supplies from other countries to maintain “water hegemony.” It was supposedly part of a wider campaign to cast doubt on the safe disposal of Japan’s radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean.

READ: Tech firms unite against harmful AI in elections

Aside from the US elections, the group allegedly targeted Taiwan’s presidential elections in January 2024. 

Storm 1376 posted AI-generated fake audio of election candidate Terry Gou endorsing another candidate in the presidential race.


Gou made no such statement, and YouTube quickly removed this content.

Microsoft further said Spamouflage Dragonbridge later promoted AI-generated memes against Taiwanese dissidents.

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Major elections will occur in many countries like India, South Korea, and the United States this year. Microsoft said China might spread AI-made content to benefit its interests in several countries soon. 

TOPICS: Microsoft, US Elections
TAGS: Microsoft, US Elections

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