Microsoft Warns of Chinese AI Ops Spreading Disinformation in the U.S.

Mukund Kapoor
By Mukund Kapoor - Author 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

Microsoft alerts that suspected Chinese agents are using AI-generated images to distribute misleading information ahead of the 2024 U.S. elections.

In Short
  • Microsoft warns that suspected Chinese agents are using AI-generated images to create fake social media posts, aiming to spread disinformation ahead of the 2024 U.S. elections.
  • The fake images, which include depictions of the Statue of Liberty and the Black Lives Matter movement, are said to be tied to accounts affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.

September 8, 2023 – Microsoft has raised alarms about suspected Chinese agents who are using artificial intelligence (AI) to make fake pictures. These pictures look like real posts by U.S. voters. The fake posts aim to mislead people and stir up heated talks on touchy subjects like politics. This all comes as the 2024 U.S. election is getting closer.

In the past nine months, these agents have used AI to make pictures that show things like the Statue of Liberty and the Black Lives Matter movement.

AI-generated image of Statue of Liberty Holding torch and gun.
AI-generated image of Statue of Liberty Holding torch and gun.

Microsoft says these posts try to make U.S. leaders and symbols look bad. The pictures are not real but are shared by real people on social media. Some people know they are sharing fake stuff, but others do not.

Microsoft makes it clear that the social media accounts that post these images are tied to the Chinese Communist Party. Clint Watts, who works at Microsoft, said in a blog, “We can expect China to keep getting better at this technology. But we don’t know how or when they will use it in a big way.”

These fake pictures get more likes and shares compared to past posts by the same Chinese accounts. But Microsoft did not give numbers to show how much more.

When asked about this, Liu Pengyu, who speaks for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., told CNN, “Some people in the West say bad things about China using AI for fake accounts. Those talks are not fair and are mean guesses. China is against this.”

This warning by Microsoft adds to growing worries about how AI can be used to trick people. It is making election officers nervous as we get close to the possible big election fight in 2024 between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Already, many people do not trust the system. A CNN poll in July said that 69% of Republicans still think Biden did not really win in 2020.

This is not the first time a country has tried to mess with U.S. voters. After the 2016 election, it was found that Russian agents used social media to cause trouble. U.S. experts say that China might be doing the same thing now.

In other related news, Google said it will make new rules for political ads that are made by AI. Starting in November, these ads must clearly say things like, “This audio was computer-generated” or “This image does not show real events.”


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By Mukund Kapoor Author
Mukund Kapoor, the enthusiastic author and creator of GreatAIPrompts, is driven by his passion for all things AI. With a special knack for simplifying complex AI concepts, he's committed to helping readers of all levels - be it beginners or experts - navigate the intriguing world of artificial intelligence. Through GreatAIPrompts, Mukund ensures that readers always have access to the most recent and relevant AI news, tools, and insights. His dedication to quality, accuracy, and clarity is what sets his blog apart, making it a reliable go-to source for anyone interested in unlocking the potential of AI. For more information visit Author Bio.
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