AI systems could have even more influence on many areas of our lives in the future. This also applies to politics. But what influence could artificial intelligence actually have on political elections?

This year there are numerous elections scheduled not only internationally, but also in Germany. In addition to local elections in some federal states and the election to the European Parliament, state elections in Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia are also expected in 2024.

But what influence could artificial intelligence have on these elections? Researchers at George Washington University have looked into the negative effects.

AI fakes in politics

Whether fake quotes next to pictures of politicians or AI-generated fake messages – the possibilities for manipulation through artificial intelligence now seem almost limitless.

Some politicians also know how to use this for their own purposes. Donald Trump, for example, regularly had his team adjust his images – longer fingers were sometimes required.

But even when it comes to images from other sources, the ex-US President is not too concerned with the truth and, for example, shares an AI-generated image that supposedly shows him praying Forbes reported at the time.

In this country, for example, they also do Bild Use of AI. In their current advertising campaign, images from the German Bundestag can be seen, which use AI-generated voices to put alleged quotes in the mouths of, among others, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and CDU leader Friedrich Merz.

What impact does artificial intelligence have on elections?

However, it is not important who uses artificial intelligence to create fakes. Because this is and remains disinformation and that is exactly what the researchers at George Washington University warn against.

Because they have come to the conclusion that even simple AI systems are enough to manipulate information on the Internet. What is particularly problematic is the easy access to these systems.

But GPT3 or GPT4 are not the problem. Because these are protected against misuse. Rather, it is simpler GPT versions that are causing researchers concern.

The results of their study suggest that there will be an “escalation of daily AI activities” by mid-2024. This means an increase until shortly before the presidential election in the United States and elections in other countries.

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