What Would Happen If “Deepfakes” Upset The U.S. Elections? The “Experts” War-gamed it!

by Tommy Grant

Some “experts” in the United States war gamed a “deepfake” (s)election scenario, and unsurprisingly, things went ary rather quickly. Simulated scenarios were part of a recent exercise in New York that gathered dozens of former senior U.S. and state officials, civil society leaders, and executives from technology companies to rehearse for the 2024 election.

The “experts” wanted to know what would happen if a “deepfake” was responsible for election scams. A deepfake is a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else, typically used maliciously or to spread false information.

One of the reported scenarios that was war-gamed was as follows:

It’s Election Day in Arizona and elderly voters in Maricopa County are told by phone that local polling places are closed due to threats from militia groups.

Meanwhile, in Miami, a flurry of photos and videos on social media show poll workers dumping ballots.

The phone calls in Arizona and the videos in Florida turn out to be “deepfakes” created with artificial intelligence tools. But by the time local and federal authorities figure out what they are dealing with, the false information has gone viral across the country. –NBC News

Those participating called this war game the “The Deepfake Dilemma.” The exercise illustrated how artificial intelligence-enabled tools threaten to speed the spread of false information in an already polarized society. This could “sow chaos in the 2024 election”, multiple participants told NBC News. Rather than examining a singular attack by a group or hostile regime, the exercise explored a scenario with an array of both domestic and foreign actors launching disinformation, exploiting rumors, and seizing political divisions already sowed by the ruling class.

“It was jarring for folks in the room to see how quickly just a handful of these types of threats could spiral out of control and really dominate the election cycle,” said Miles Taylor, a former senior Department of Homeland Security official who helped organize the exercise for the Washington-based nonprofit The Future US.

Read the full article here

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