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No AI-proof elections, deep fake photos, videos of politicians are becoming commonplace, warns ex-Google boss

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has warned that no democratic election can be free from AI interference unless governments around the world work actively to combat misinformation and deep fakes. . It also calls for strict regulation of AI.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has warned that Democratic elections are vulnerable to AI interference. Schmidt, who led the tech giant for ten years, expressed concern that during election campaigns fake images and videos of politicians are likely to flood the internet.

This proliferation of AI-generated misinformation will make it difficult for the public to discern what is true, leading to confusion and potential manipulation.

During an interview with Andrew Marr on LBC, Schmidt pointed out that the UK and the US are clearly leading the race for AI and stressed the importance of determining what is deemed acceptable in a democracy regarding the AI regulation.

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Schmidt’s remarks come as ministers prepare measures to protect future general elections from AI manipulation, particularly in relation to deep counterfeit technology, which could be exploited by hostile entities.

Notably, Schmidt is the second former Google executive who has been accused of engaging in an AI arms race with Microsoft to highlight the risks associated with the technology.

Dr Geoffrey Hinton, a renowned British scientist known as the “Godfather of AI”, recently left his job at Google to raise awareness of the potential dangers AI could pose to humanity.

Schmidt, who served as Google’s chief executive from 2001 to 2011 and then executive chairman, expressed deep concerns about the impact of AI, saying Democratic elections are not immune to its interference.

He described AI’s ability to fool people as “horrible” and pointed to the widespread use of generative AI to create fake images and videos that could confuse the public. Schmidt highlighted the urgent need for solutions to authenticate content, as distinguishing between authentic and manipulated media is currently difficult.

With the UK and the US dominating the global AI landscape, Schmidt stressed the need to establish guidelines for AI in a democratic context.

Schmidt’s warning underscores the importance of addressing the potential misuse of AI technology and ensuring its responsible deployment in democratic processes.

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