AI Election Hell Isn’t A Future Issue, It’s Already Here

Donald Trump in focus behind a flaming wall and the starts on the American Flag

Donald Trump in focus behind a flaming wall and the starts on the American Flag


  • As the US and UK's election season approaches, concerns around the use of AI tools as political weapons is growing
  • India is currently suffering from the use of AI tools becoming easily accessible
  • Unless AI-generated images or videos of real people become banned, the issue could get worse

Imagine an eerie future where crime runs rampant in the streets, and cities are mere husks of their former selves. Election season approaches, offering the chance for change, but uncovering the truth requires sifting through AI-generated content—a task most people won't undertake. That future isn't far off.

While the notion of crime-ridden streets and cities may be hyperbolic—Gotham City isn't a common occurrence—the idea that advanced AI chatbots and image generators could significantly influence politics is not a future concern; it's already a present issue.

Both the US and the UK are poised for upcoming elections, with Trump and Biden as the presumptive nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. In the UK, the Conservative Party's parliamentary majority has sparked considerable debate, with Labour poised to potentially secure a majority in the imminent polls.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, India faces an unforeseen crisis. As elections loom, the proliferation of AI tools and misinformation poses a significant threat, making it challenging for the general public to discern fact from fiction.

According to a report by BBC News, Muralikrishnan Chinnadurai, a fact-checker from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has voiced concerns about the potential misuse of tools like ChatGPT and Copilot for nefarious purposes. "This is a highly emotive issue in the state [Tamil Nadu], and with elections around the corner, misinformation could spread rapidly," Chinnadurai told the BBC.

Political experts are alarmed by the accessibility of these tools. India's former chief election commissioner, SY Qureshi, raised concerns about social media, noting, "Rumors have always been part of electioneering. [But] in the age of social media, they can spread like wildfire and potentially ignite the country."

During the opening months of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, AI technology was already used to generate deepfake videos of Volodymyr Zelenskyy announcing a surrender in an attempt to trick civilians. While largely unsuccessful, the technology has evolved leaps and bounds in just a few years into a terrifying future.

Similar issues are likely to arise in both the US and the UK during their upcoming elections. Deepfakes have long been a concern, with instances like the George Carlin special and AI-generated celebrity nudes on eBay raising alarm. However, the use of AI as a political tool could lead to even graver consequences.

With OpenAI making ChatGPT 4o free to use, and as the company's OpenAI Sora video generator releases, the concerns will only grow stronger over time.

The situation is dire; even a Copilot engineer has alerted the FTC about the generation of harmful images. Unless significant changes are made to AI tools and their capacity to generate content using real people's likenesses, we've only scratched the surface of this problem, and it may worsen considerably in the near future.

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