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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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

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,” CFR.org

 

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,” CFR.org

 

Elections in the AI Era,” CFR.org

 

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). 

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