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    The AI Defense

    In an era dominated by the digital dissemination of information, the concept of ‘fake news’ has been a consistent concern. Coupled with the rapidly advancing realm of AI, an issue emerges in the form of confusion, distrust, and the opportunity to claim AI as a defense. Navigating this issue becomes especially complex at the intersection of politics, political campaigns, and the vast landscape of the internet and social media.

    Experts have been warning that AI confusion can affect how people perceive reality of news on the internet. Recently, a growing group of politicians all over the world are claiming damning photos, videos, and audio were created by AI and are fake. Politicians ranging from former president Donald Trump to a ruling-party Taiwanese politician have used AI as a way to absolve themselves in the face of embarrassing footage. In one case the claim was easily debunked as the videos were heavily featured in the news when it originally happened. The conclusion with the other case was not so obvious – it is unclear if the footage was AI generated.

    While AI companies like OpenAI have said that their tools should not be used in political campaigns, enforcement is difficult. The company did recently ban a developer from using OpenAI tools after they created a bot for Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips. This was the first known action by them for a political campaign. However, even total enforcement by companies does not eliminate the existence of AI in politics. Open-source technologies exist that are not accompanied with any rules of use or enforcement capabilities.

    The resulting problem is twofold. On one hand, individuals can create AI-generated videos and audio of trusted public figures saying truly anything. On the other hand, the erosion of trust in video complicates holding accountable those public figures genuinely caught engaging in wrongdoing, as they can always leverage the plausible deniability afforded by AI. Furthermore, the ability and tech needed to check if a piece of media is fake is currently only in the hands of experts, while the tools to create AI content are available to almost anyone.

    The intersection of AI, politics, and the digital realm presents a multifaceted challenge. The concern of 'fake news' in our information-dominated era is exacerbated by the advancements in AI technology. As politicians worldwide increasingly wield AI as a defense against damning media, the complexity of discerning truth from fiction intensifies. Moving forward, technology companies and regulatory agencies should emphasize the need for accurate and user-friendly AI checkers to keep pace with the rapid advancements and widespread accessibility of AI generators. Without such tech, we risk hurtling towards a post-truth era where the traditional adage of “seeing is believing” no longer holds true.

    Article By:
    Dure-Ajam Ahmad
    Communication Manager

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