China to disrupt US, South Korea and India elections using AI, warns Microsoft

China had used AI content to disrupt Taiwanese elections: Report

taiwan-vote-reuters A woman casts her vote at a polling station set up in a temple during the presidential and parliamentary elections in New Taipei City, Taiwan | Reuters

With the major countries heading to elections this year, Microsoft has come up with a warning of China disrupting the polls by using artificial intelligence. According to the Microsoft report, elections in India, South Korea and the United States will be targeted by China using AI. 

By using AI content, China made a dry run with the presidential poll in Taiwan. During the Taiwan election, attempts were made to influence the election by posting fake audio on YouTube of the election candidate Terry Gou endorsing another candidate. Microsoft had said the clip was "likely AI-generated". 

According to a report by the company's threat intelligence team, Chinese state-backed cyber groups will target high-profile elections in 2024. 

"As populations in India, South Korea and the United States head to the polls, we are likely to see Chinese cyber and influence actors, and to some extent, North Korean cyber actors, work toward targeting these elections,” the report said. 

China will create and distribute through social media AI-generated content that "benefits their positions in these high-profile elections".

“While the impact of such content in swaying audiences remains low, China’s increasing experimentation in augmenting memes, videos and audio will continue – and may prove effective down the line,” said Microsoft.

It was found that a Beijing-backed group called Storm 1376, also known as Spamouflage or Dragonbridge, was highly active during the Taiwanese election. The group pushed a series of AI-generated memes about the ultimately successful candidate, William Lai – a pro-sovereignty candidate opposed by Beijing – that levelled baseless claims against Lai accusing him of embezzling state funds, reported The Guardian.

Microsoft added that Chinese groups continue to mount influence campaigns in the US. It said Beijing-backed actors are using social media accounts to pose “divisive questions” and attempt to understand issues dividing US voters.

“This could be to gather intelligence and precision on key voting demographics ahead of the US Presidential election,” said Microsoft in a blog post accompanying the report.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp