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Wide majority of Americans worry AI will be used to influence 2024 election outcome

More than seven in ten Americans are concerned about how artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to influence the 2024 election via social media, according to a new poll.

A survey conducted by North Carolina’s Elon University and headed by the school’s Imagining the Digital Future center found that 78 per cent of Americans are at least somewhat if not very concerned that AI will be used to manipulate or distort voters’ perceptions of the candidates ahead of voting in November.

Given specific examples of such behaviour, 70 per cent of respondents assumed likely examples of this would include the generation of fake accounts on social media platforms and the generation of fake video, audio or other materials representing the candidates. Sixty-two per cent said they were concerned about AI-driven content aimed at convincing specific demographics to not participate in the election. Finally, 73 per cent said they believed AI would be used to artificially drive conversations on social media through fake or “bot” accounts.

In general, Americans’ outlook on the future of AI and its use by nefarious actors in political spheres is very grim. Just 5 per cent of poll respondents think the technology will have a positive effect on political discourse, compared to 37 per cent who thought it would lead to an overall negative outcome.

“Misinformation in elections has been around since before the invention of computers, but many worry about the sophistication of AI technology in 2024 giving bad actors an accessible tool to spread misinformation at an unprecedented scale,” said Jason Husser, professor of political science and director of the Elon University Poll. “We know that most voters are aware of AI risks to the 2024 election.

Read more on independent.co.uk