Microsoft warns that China will use AI in US elections

A recent report released by Microsoft has shed light on the use of AI-generated media by Chinese social media accounts to influence elections in East Asian countries and the United States. The report, published by Microsoft Threat Intelligence, reveals that Chinese propaganda actors have been creating AI-generated memes, videos, and audio content to incite outrage and manipulate political outcomes in the region.

The Chinese-government-linked accounts have also been utilizing AI-generated media to sow discord and chaos in the US, particularly around key political events such as elections. One example cited in the report is an AI-generated image that falsely attributed the 2023 fires in Hawaii to a US-made "weather weapon," as well as content aimed at undermining trust in the government following a train derailment in Kentucky.

The report highlights that many of these Chinese social media messages prompt followers to comment on their preferred presidential candidates, suggesting that the accounts may be gathering intelligence on key voting demographics in the US. While the immediate threat level is deemed low, Microsoft warns that China's influence campaigns could prove effective in the future.

This report from Microsoft comes in the wake of a threat assessment of China released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which highlighted Beijing's efforts to undermine democracy and extend its influence through disinformation campaigns. Both reports mention the presence of "Spamouflage" accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party that share divisive and frequently AI-generated content.

The comparison is drawn to Russia's tactics in the 2016 US presidential election, with the US government report likening China's recent influence campaign to those employed by Russian troll farms. Additionally, recent reports have suggested that former President Trump authorized a CIA program to discredit the Chinese government on social media during his time in office.


More from Press Rundown