The Year of AI and Elections

Billions of people will take to the polls next year, marking the world’s largest-ever electoral field. But this historic scale is not the only thing that will make 2024 unique. As new threats like deep fakes become cheaper and more widespread, these upcoming elections could serve as a test run for democracy in the artificial intelligence (AI) era. What risks does AI pose to elections next year? And will a surge in AI-powered disinformation change the nature of democratic elections?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Kat Duffy
    Senior Fellow for Digital and Cyberspace Policy
  • Yoel Roth
    Visiting scholar, University of Pennsylvania

Show Notes

Around half of the world’s population will cast their vote in national elections next year. As governments around the world prepare to host potentially world-changing elections, they must now consider a new threat: artificial intelligence. 


A map of which countries have been targeted by deceptive online actors, based on networks removed by Meta in recent years.

Individuals and foreign governments alike could be incentivized to use AI to influence this massive slate of elections. AI-aided disinformation could be particularly dangerous in countries like India and Mexico, where democracy is already backsliding; even in countries where elections are unlikely to be free and fair, authoritarian leaders could use AI to manipulate public opinion. Meanwhile, the leaders elected next year will contend with a slew of global issues, including worsening climate change, a series of wars new and old, and the rise of AI itself. As international rules governing AI remain sparse, the leaders who emerge in 2024 will have a huge say in the regulation of AI across the globe. Not only will AI influence next year’s elections, but these elections will influence the future of AI.



From CFR


Anu Bradford, “The Race to Regulate Artificial Intelligence,” Foreign Affairs


Ian Bremmer and Mustafa Suleyman, “The AI Power Paradox,” Foreign Affairs



From Our Guests


Kat Duffy, Liana Fix, Will Freeman, Matthew Goodman, and Zongyuan Zoe Liu, “Visualizing 2024: Trends to Watch,”


Yasmin Green, Andrew Gully, Yoel Roth, Abhishek Roy, Joshua A. Tucker, and Alicia Wanless “Evidence-Based Misinformation Interventions: Challenges and Opportunities for Measurement and Collaboration,” [PDF] Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Princeton University 



Read More


Robert Chesney and Danielle Keats Citron, “Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security” California Law Review, University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and University of Maryland Law School


Renee DiResta, Matthew Gentzel, Josh A. Goldstein, Micah Musser, Girish Sastry, and Katerina Sedova, “Generative Language Models and Automated Influence Operations: Emerging Threats and Potential Mitigations,” Stanford Internet Observatory



Watch and Listen


Confronting Disinformation in the Digital Age,”


Elections in the AI Era,”


AI’s Impact on the 2024 U.S. Elections, With Jessica Brandt,” The President’s Inbox


*Disclaimer: The image for the episode includes content generated by artificial intelligence (AI). 

Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Thirty years ago, Rwanda’s government began a campaign to eradicate the country’s largest minority group. In just one hundred days in 1994, roving militias killed around eight hundred thousand people. Would-be killers were incited to violence by the radio, which encouraged extremists to take to the streets with machetes. The United Nations stood by amid the bloodshed, and many foreign governments, including the United States, declined to intervene before it was too late. What got in the way of humanitarian intervention? And as violent conflict now rages at a clip unseen since then, can the international community learn from the mistakes of its past?


Many Americans are losing faith in the benefits of internationalism. But whether it’s wars in the Gaza Strip and Ukraine, worsening extreme weather as a result of climate change, or the trade-offs of globalization, events abroad are increasingly having a local impact. At the same time, more state and local officials in the United States are becoming involved in global affairs, conducting their own form of diplomacy on international issues and driving investment home. What role should the United States play in the world economy? And how do states and cities fit in?


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