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Chinese hackers increasingly use AI to interfere in elections – report

China is increasingly using forms of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven misinformation to interfere in foreign elections, a new report from Microsoft says.

Beijing is reportedly using deepfakes and other forms of AI-generated content to interfere in U.S. and Taiwanese affairs, and research has uncovered specific examples of manipulated images that were used to promote conspiracy theories that the U.S. government deliberately created trains. 2023 Kentucky derailment and Maui wildfires in Hawaii.

Recent elections in the East Asian island nation have provided a backdrop for disruption as geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China persist. In its report, Microsoft detailed how it observed Chinese actors working with fake hosts to create AI-generated news broadcasts to spread misinformation to influence the election.

Some of the content is said to have been produced using CapCut, an artificial intelligence editing tool owned by ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and U.S. lawmakers are taking action with proposed legislation that would to effectively ban a popular video hosting app in the United States. state.

Regarding the disruption to Taiwan, the report noted, “This is the first time Microsoft Threat Intelligence has witnessed nation-state actors using AI content to attempt to influence a foreign election.”

Examples of Chinese hackers’ disinformation tactics

The campaign also honed in on individuals, with Microsoft seeing a “significant increase” in material featuring Taiwanese politicians, including prominent politicians like Lai Ching-te. The president-elect and leader of the country’s pro-independence party has been at the center of a variety of dirty tricks, including artificial intelligence-generated memes showing him being accused and the party mired in corruption.

In another video, a woman claimed that Lai had several mistresses and illegitimate children.

The Chinese campaign also allegedly used Majia social media accounts to create noise around topics such as climate change, immigration, and U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and Israel. Impersonating American voters and using online polls to better understand the American electorate are further tools being exploited ahead of the presidential election later this year.

However, Microsoft’s report does not conclude whether the current level of AI-fueled disinformation is a game changer or has a significant impact.

Image source: Ideographies

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