AI can manipulate elections worldwide, expert says



ISTANBUL – Artificial intelligence (AI) can manipulate elections all around the world, said the chairman of the Department of Mass Communication at US-based Stephen F. Austin University, thus it is important that some regulations are introduced.

John Allen Hendricks, during a conference titled “Future(s) of Communications: 
Promises and Predicaments” organized last week by the Global Communication Association, said the world is in the very early stages of that technology and a lot of mistakes are going to be made.

There have been numerous videos in the US and also in other countries showing politicians saying things that the electorate perceives as sincere but are actually deepfake videos, he said.

“People should be very careful about AI in the political context because it is so new and very believable,” he added.

Hendricks called for the regulation of social media which plays a front and center role in politics.

"When I look at American politics, social media is the first place that politicians go to reach the electorate," he said.

Hendricks believed that traditional media in America – television, radio and newspapers – remain the gatekeepers for the electorate.

However, the electorate has become very leery toward traditional media and turned to social media instead.  This has allowed politicians to communicate directly with them.

He said there is a problem with social media as many countries do not regulate it.

"So anyone can create a social media account under a false name. They can create a fake name, and that encourages and emboldens them to say things that they would never say as themselves,” he added. (Anadolu)