AI-Generated Imagery: A New Weapon in Disinformation Campaigns

JJohn September 7, 2023 5:02 PM

As the 2024 US elections approach, Chinese operatives are suspected of using artificial intelligence to create images to spread disinformation among American voters. According to Microsoft, these images are being used to stir discussions on divisive political subjects.

AI-generated images used to spread disinformation

Microsoft's analysts have raised alarm bells over suspected Chinese operatives who are allegedly using artificial intelligence to generate images for spreading disinformation among American voters. The images, which have been crafted to mimic American voters, are being used as a tool to stir up discussions on politically divisive issues, especially as the 2024 US elections approach.

Western social media platforms used for disinformation campaign

According to Microsoft, the supposed Chinese influence network has been using a series of accounts on what are referred to as "Western" social media platforms to disseminate the AI-generated images. The images themselves are fakes, created by a computer. However, they reach a wider audience because of real people who, knowingly or unknowingly, repost these images on their social media platforms.

AI disinformation a concern for election officials

The escalating potential for foes to leverage artificial intelligence in order to disseminate disinformation among US voters is causing a significant amount of concern among election officials. With a contentious possible rematch in the 2024 elections between President Joe Biden and ex-president Donald Trump, officials are on high alert for any attempts to influence the voters' mindset.

It has been observed that the AI-generated images have managed to capture higher levels of engagement from genuine social media users when compared with some previous posts from the alleged network of Chinese accounts. However, Microsoft has not released any specific metrics in support of this observation.

Recent months have seen an increase in the evidence pointing to Chinese influence operations that aim at stirring up discord in the United States. From paying unwitting Americans to protest against racial inequality and bans on goods from Xinjiang to running a 'cross-platform covert influence operation', the attempts to cause disruption are becoming more obvious.

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