Progress Michigan recently released the latest edition of Lake Effect, a monthly research newsletter that tracks public opinion about a variety of policy issues. Included in this poll were several questions about artificial intelligence being used to influence our elections. Eighty-eight percent of Michigan voters polled were very or somewhat concerned about artificial intelligence being used to influence elections, and 81 percent support state and federal regulations, such as those called for by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, to fight AI influencing elections.
“Michiganders are rightly concerned about the potential impact of AI on our elections,” said Sam Inglot, executive director of Progress Michigan, in a press release. “Disinformation and misinformation are already running rampant on social media and we’ve seen first-hand in recent years how this false information can influence the public. With AI, bad actors can become even more prolific in spreading disinformation and the potential for deepfakes to influence public opinion at pivotal moments is honestly terrifying.”
Experts are sounding the alarm about the variety of ways artificial intelligence could be — and already is being — used to influence our elections. Lawmakers at both the state and federal level are woefully behind when it comes to regulating big tech and AI is no exception. Election officials including Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and other secretaries of state are calling for regulations designed to combat the influence AI might wield over our elections.
“In the race for more and more advanced AI, like so much else, corporations have had free rein to put profits over people,” Inglot said. “It’s time lawmakers step into the 21st century and ensure this technology is not abused. Our elections, our country and our people — in Michigan and across the country — should be protected from bad actors trying to sow disinformation and the greedy corporations who allow it to happen.”