1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. Microsoft warns China will use AI to try to influence US elections

Microsoft warns China will use AI to try to influence US elections

Madison Hall   

Microsoft warns China will use AI to try to influence US elections
  • A new report from Microsoft shows how Chinese social-media accounts have used AI.
  • CCP-linked accounts have frequently shared AI-generated memes, audio, and videos online.

Microsoft says in a new report that China will use AI-generated media to influence elections in East Asian countries and the US.

The report, released Friday by Microsoft Threat Intelligence, highlights several instances of AI-generated memes, videos, and audio created by Chinese propaganda actors to generate outrage and sway elections in East Asia.

Chinese-government-linked accounts have also posted artificial-intelligence-generated pieces of media aiming to stoke chaos in the US, per the report.

The report notes an AI-generated picture that blamed the 2023 fires in Hawaii on a US-made "weather weapon" and another that aimed to sow mistrust in the government after a train in Kentucky derailed in November.

Many of the Chinese social-media messages ask followers to comment about which presidential candidates they support. Microsoft said the "accounts could be operating to increase intelligence gathering around key voting demographics within the United States."

The report said the threat "remains low" for now but added that China's attempts "may prove effective down the line."

Microsoft's report came several months after the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a threat assessment of China. "The PRC aims to sow doubts about US leadership, undermine democracy, and extend Beijing's influence," the assessment said.

The reports from the agency and Microsoft both mention "Spamouflage" — Microsoft refers to it as "Storm-1376" — or social-media accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party that share divisive and frequently AI-generated content.

The February US government report likened China's recent influence campaign to Russia's tactics in 2016 when its troll farms posted election disinformation ahead of the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Reuters reported in March that during his time as president, Trump authorized a CIA program to smear the Chinese government on social media.

Popular Right Now