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Microsoft: China Will Use AI To Tackle Lok Sabha Polls

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A report released by Microsoft has said that China will use content generated through artificial intelligence (AI) to try and disrupt Lok Sabha polls in India, along with polls in US and South Korea.

The US company said that “at a minimum” Beijing will use and distribute AI generated social media posts that will benefit its position in these elections.

Microsoft clarified that the chances of such content affecting election results remain low, however the experiments Beijing carries out with augmenting memes, videos, and audio will prove to be more effective down the line.

The report titled “Same targets, new playbooks: East Asia threat actors employ unique methods’ was published by the Microsoft Threat Analysis Centre (MTAC). It mentions that China had already tried a disinformation campaign in the Taiwan presidential election in January, which was the first time that a state used AI-made content in a bid to influence a foreign election.

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There have been “several notable cyber and influence trends from China and North Korea since June 2023 that demonstrate not only doubling down on familiar targets, but also attempts to use more sophisticated influence techniques to achieve their goals”, the report added.

The cyber actors have broadly targeted three areas over the last seven months. The targeted entities were in the South Pacific Islands, the South China Sea region and US defence industrial base..

“Chinese influence campaigns continued to refine AI-generated or AI-enhanced content. The influence actors behind these campaigns have shown a willingness to both amplify AI-generated media that benefits their strategic narratives, as well as create their own video, memes, and audio content,” Microsoft noted.

Last year, Chinese cyber actor Flax Typhoon targeted entities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, and the United States. Over the years, China-based cyber actors have continued to target entities related to China’s economic and military interests in and around the South China Sea