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China may disrupt Lok Sabha elections using Artificial Intelligence, warns Microsoft

Lok Sabha elections 2024 are scheduled to take place in seven phases beginning April 19, and the counting of votes is set for June 4. A report by Microsoft's threat intelligence team has warned that Chinese-backed groups may try to influence the upcoming general elections.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 06, 2024 13:02 IST
Polling officials collect EVMs and other election material
Image Source : PTI Polling officials collect EVMs and other election material at a distribution centre. (File photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Microsoft has warned that China may disrupt or influence the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India using Artificial Intelligence-generated content. According to a report by Microsoft threat intelligence team, Chinese state-backed cyber groups, from North Korea may target general elections in India.

Microsoft report further said that not only India, but Chinese groups may target the US, Europe and South Korea as general elections are also due to be held in these nations.

The report warned that China will create and amplify AI-generated content to benefit its interests.

Despite the chances of such content in affecting election results remaining low, China’s increasing experimentation in augmenting memes, videos, and audio will likely continue - and may prove more effective down the line.

How China may disrupt Lok Sabha elections according to Microsoft report 

According to the tech giant, China is using fake social media accounts to poll voters on what divides them most to sow division and possibly influence the outcome of the US presidential election in its favour.

"China has also increased its use of AI-generated content to further its goals around the world. North Korea has increased its cryptocurrency heists and supply chain attacks to fund and further its military goals and intelligence collection. It has also begun to use AI to make its operations more effective and efficient," the company said in a blog post.

Deceptive social media accounts by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-affiliated actors have already started to pose contentious questions on controversial US domestic issues to better understand the key issues that divide US voters.

"This could be to gather intelligence and precision on key voting demographics ahead of the US presidential election," the company warned.

China's geopolitical priorities remain unchanged but it has doubled down on its targets and increased the sophistication of its influence operations (IO) attacks.

The Taiwanese presidential election in January this year also saw a surge in the use of AI-generated content by China-affiliated cyber criminals.

"This was the first time that Microsoft Threat Intelligence has witnessed a nation-state actor using AI content in attempts to influence a foreign election," said the team.

With inputs from IANS

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