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Beijing Denies Microsoft’s Claims China is Using AI to Target US Voters

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Beijing Denies Microsoft's Claims China is Using AI to Target US Voters

Microsoft researchers claim to have discovered a network of fraudulent, China-controlled social media accounts attempting to influence US voters through artificial intelligence.

A Chinese embassy official in Washington, stated that the claims of China utilising AI to create false social media accounts are racist and based on prejudice and that China is pushing for the safe use of AI.

Microsoft stated in a new research report that the social media profiles were part of a suspected Chinese information operation (IO). According to Microsoft, the effort resembled activities attributed to “an elite group within (China’s) Ministry of Public Security” by the US Department of Justice.

The researchers did not identify which social media platforms were affected, but screenshots in the paper revealed posts from what seemed to be Facebook and Twitter, which are now referred to as X.

As Americans prepare for the presidential election in 2024, the analysis emphasises a volatile social media climate.

The US administration has accused Russia of intervening in the 2016 election through a clandestine social media operation and has warned of following efforts to influence voters by China, Russia, and Iran.

The report gave only a few examples of recent activity and did not go into depth about how researchers traced the posts to China.

According to a Microsoft spokeswoman, the company’s researchers utilised a “multifaceted attribution model” that relied on “technical evidence, behavioural evidence, and contextual evidence.”

According to Microsoft, the campaign began employing generative AI technology in March of this year to develop politically charged content in English and “mimic US voters.”

AI can generate photos, text, and other media from scratch.

The researchers said that the new content is “much more eye-catching than the awkward visuals used in previous campaigns by Chinese nation-state actors, which relied on digital drawings, stock photo collages, and other manual graphic designs.”

The report mentioned one AI-generated image, which Microsoft claimed came from a Chinese user and depicted the Statue of Liberty wielding an assault rifle with the caption: “Everything is being thrown away.” “Violence’s Goddess.”

The detected accounts, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman, sought to appear American by declaring their public location as within the United States, tweeting American political slogans, and sharing hashtags related to domestic political concerns.

AI China

China’s AI scene is heating up

Meanwhile, China’s generative AI scene is heating up as more Chinese big tech companies join the AI race after a slow start due to regulatory stumbling blocks.

Tencent, the Chinese media and gaming conglomerate, is the most recent addition to this list, with plans to launch its own AI chatbot powered by its in-house AI model known as “Hunyuan.”

This development follows China’s broader AI ambitions, as seen by recent legislative nods permitting big tech giants like Baidu and SenseTime Group to publicly reveal its AI chatbots in the last week.

Despite current constraints, China recently loosened the regulatory environment surrounding AI technology in order to achieve a balance between governmental control of the technology and a hospitable climate for industry innovation.

Tencent’s “Hunyuan” model, which has been in development for several months, is now ready to compete on a worldwide scale with other AI chatbots in China’s tech landscape and maybe industry leader ChatGPT.

Tencent’s admission is a big step forward in the company’s continued efforts to remain at the forefront of technical innovation in the region.

The launch of an AI chatbot, together with the growing governmental backing for AI-driven solutions in China, highlights the growing importance of AI in a variety of areas, ranging from improving customer service to expediting content creation and beyond.

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