A look at the risks of AI influencing the US elections
The security of US elections has been in the spotlight for some time, especially following former President Trump’s controversial comments about alleged voter fraud. The recent midterm elections in the US were therefore a focal point for surveillance and security measures. After intensive investigations, the US government announced that no foreign forces had successfully interfered in the election process. This is a significant relief as the integrity of elections is a pillar of democracy in the US.
A victory for security, but with caveats
The good news is that the elections were at least technically secure. Several US ministries and the FBI confirmed that there was no manipulation of votes or ballots. This success is proof that the USA can effectively protect its election processes. However, there have been attempts, such as by pro-Russian hacktivists, to attack websites and North Korean actors tapping into publicly available data. These incidents show that the threat of foreign interference remains.
Midterm elections: A test run for the presidential elections
The midterm elections served as a dress rehearsal for the presidential elections. All eyes were on the security measures, especially after the unrest sparked by allegations of electoral fraud in 2020. It is reassuring that the measures were successful, but the question remains as to how future elections can be protected, especially from new threats such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Unknown Future: AI and Election Interference
While recent elections have been successfully defended against traditional hacking attacks, a new challenge is on the horizon: AI influence. AI has the potential to fundamentally change the way information is disseminated and perceived. This could influence future elections by manipulating opinions or spreading disinformation. Such scenarios are not part of the current investigations, but should be considered. Developing counter strategies against such AI-based threats will be crucial to ensure the integrity of future elections. AI technology is evolving rapidly and could play a significant role in influencing political processes in the future. Securing democratic processes from such advanced threats is of paramount importance, including and especially in the 2024 US elections.