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How do big tech firms plan to deal with deceptive AI for elections? 

Projections show that approximately four billion people will participate in elections this year across nations like the US, UK, and India. However, in the last few years, online disinformation has been a growing problem, particularly regarding elections, and AI seems to be making the issue much more severe.

In light of this, some of the biggest tech companies, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, have announced their plans to deal with the use of deceptive AI in some of the upcoming election campaigns.

This coalition of twenty firms has formally pledged to address the spread of misleading content that targets voters. They have committed to employing advanced technology to detect and counter such material effectively.

Nevertheless, skepticism looms regarding the effectiveness of this voluntary agreement in curbing the dissemination of harmful content. For example, one industry expert says that while the accord is a step in the right direction, it may fall short in stopping the circulation of misleading information.

Dubbed the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections, the initiative was revealed during the Munich Security Conference. Key elements of the accord include the development of AI-driven technologies to mitigate risks associated with deceptive election content and ensuring transparency regarding the measures taken by participating firms. 

Additionally, the signatories vow to share best practices and educate the public on identifying manipulated content. Among the signatories are social media giants such as X (formerly Twitter), Snap, Adobe, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The accord’s scope includes addressing content that deceives by altering the appearance, voice, or actions of key figures in elections, as well as disseminating false information regarding voting logistics.

US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco has warned of AI’s potential to amplify disinformation during elections. Google and Meta have previously outlined policies regarding AI-generated political advertising, requiring advertisers to disclose the use of deepfakes or manipulated content, like the recent videos of President Joe Biden which were published on Facebook. 

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