Experts, Policymakers Discuss Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Politics and Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Experts and policymakers are considering how to safely integrate artificial intelligence (A.I.) into everyday life. However, there are a lot of questions surrounding the evolutionary technology, especially the most recent form of A.I. known as “generative A.I.” 

Artificial intelligence is defined as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. However, the key difference between traditional and generative A.I., is that generative A.I can create something new. Generative A.I. can generate text, video, images, and other types of content on its own by using all types of data from tons of sources. 

With recent reports of fake images and even fake voicemails posing as political candidates, one of the major concerns is the role of generative A.I. in politics and elections. 

“Bottom line, A.I. is everywhere at this point,” said Alon Yamin, CEO and Co-Founder of Copyleaks, an AI-based text analysis platform. 

Yamin’s company works to find out what’s real and what’s not. There’s a big demand for clarity and authenticity, especially this year. 

“Now more than ever, as we’re getting close to the elections, it’s even more important to use A.I. detectors, understanding where A.I. is, have some kind of visibility to generative the A.I.,” said Yamin. “Try to understand what’s real and what’s not.” 

Although there are positives to the A.I., Yamin says it can also be used to manipulate information. 

“This could be done by individuals, it could be done by foreign governments. I think the risk is greater than ever,” said Yamin. 

“With A.I., now you can replicate someone’s voice, their image, it may actually not be them. And so this becomes a whole another challenge for us, I think, for all of us,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI). 

Sen. Stabenow says there’s a major bipartisan effort in the Senate to examine all areas of A.I., including evolving threats. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re trying to pass legislation that would make it illegal to do those things and require a certain accountability. And I think that’s going to be important,” said Sen. Stabenow. 

When it comes to election information, Yamin says to be skeptical about content if it’s not from a trusted source or outlet. 

“Really scrutinize it even a bit more than you would in the years before. Double check everything, make sure that everything makes sense,” said Yamin. 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in the 2023 legislative session, at least 25 states introduced artificial intelligence bills, and 18 states and Puerto Rico adopted resolutions or enacted legislation.