National Security Agency (NSA) chief candidate has warned artificial intelligence (AI) from China could repress civil liberties and corrupt elections, this after a deepfake picture of a Pentagon explosion tanked the S&P 500.
Air Force Lieutenant General Timothy Haugh said on Thursday that foreign adversaries could weaponize deepfakes in next year’s presidential cycle.
NSA Candidate Warns About China Using Technology for Political Edge
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Haugh said China could export its socialist version of AI to repress the free world.
“When we think about where China has focused much of their AI, it’s about information control. It’s about facial recognition, it’s about dominating the population.”
Haugh said China has a history of using technology to gain a military, political, economic, or military edge.
China’s internet watchdog limits the information AI companies can use to train their models. A Hong Kong professor, Angela Zhang, said new AI products would need to filter banned content they train their models on.
Meanwhile, OpenAI and Google committed to responsible AI development at a high-profile meeting at the White House. Rights groups have historically opposed industry lobbying, which often creates a conflict of interest for politicians receiving election backing from lobbyists.
Pentagon Deepfake a Taste of What Elections Could Face
The attack surface for manipulating public consensus has increased exponentially with the rise of AI.
Earlier this year, a deepfake photograph of a Pentagon explosion confused algorithms trading firms used. The S&P 500 fell to a session low before recovering as experts debunked the ruse.
Learn here about the constructive use of AI in finance.
However, several reputable Twitter accounts caused a stir, highlighting the uncomfortable truth about fake information and how quickly they can influence real-world events through social channels.
In the last election cycle, former President Donald Trump accused China of interference. Now, the ability of AI to create deepfakes convincing enough to fool the general public threatens free and fair elections to an unprecedented degree.
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