In the run-up to the 2024 US elections, there’s some concerning tech news. According to Microsoft, Chinese agents might be using artificial intelligence, to create misleading images to influence US voters.

Key findings from Microsoft’s investigations reveal

  • Recently, unique images of the Statue of Liberty and Black Lives Matter symbols popped up on social media. But they’re made by computers, not real photographers or artists.
From Microsoft Threat Intelligence report
  • One interesting observation: Some fake accounts look very real because they’re run by actual people, not just computers. They often start posting in Chinese, then switch to English.
  • Microsoft believes the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, might be controlling the accounts that post these pictures.

These AI images aren’t just sitting online; they’re getting noticed and shared by regular social media users. However, there’s some pushback. The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., doesn’t agree with Microsoft. They’ve rejected these claims.

This isn’t a new game, though. Remember the 2016 election? US officials warned that countries, like China, might try to copy Russia’s online tactics to sway voters.

And there’s more. Some reports say agents from China even paid Americans to hold protests on sensitive issues, like racial equality.

Meanwhile, Meta, the company behind Facebook, has been busy too. They removed a large group of accounts linked to China that targeted US users and others.

Microsoft’s research wasn’t only about China. They also mentioned concerns about North Korea, especially focusing on the increased activities of Chinese digital agents.

The world of AI is evolving quickly. It’s getting harder to tell if a picture is made by a computer or a human. Some believe that instead of just using AI, these agents might be using real people with fake profiles.

Looking at the bigger picture, other reports suggest Chinese agents might be playing a more significant role in stirring things up, even organizing events in places like Washington, D.C.

As the 2024 election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump gets closer, officials are watching these AI tactics closely. Clint Watts from Microsoft shared his insights. He believes China might enhance and use these AI tools even more in the future.

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