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Microsoft’s big warning: China may use AI content to influence Lok Sabha polls


China could be using content generated through Artificial Intelligence (AI) to disrupt upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India, a report released by Microsoft warned, adding that other polls happening in countries like the United States and South Korea could also be affected by such content. Microsoft said that China will create and distribute AI-generated content through social media that “benefits their positions in these high-profile elections” as the company is increasingly experimenting with memes, videos and audio.

Microsoft claimed that Chinese cyber actors have selected three target areas.(Reuters)

What Microsoft said on trends from China?

The company said that it has observed “several notable cyber and influence trends from China and North Korea since June 2023 that demonstrate not only doubling down on familiar targets, but also attempts to use more sophisticated influence techniques to achieve their goals”.

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What could be target areas of these attacks as per Microsoft?

Microsoft claimed that Chinese cyber actors have selected three target areas: countries across the South Pacific Islands, regional adversaries in the South China Sea region and the US defence industrial base.

“Chinese influence campaigns continued to refine AI-generated or AI-enhanced content. The influence actors behind these campaigns have shown a willingness to both amplify AI-generated media that benefits their strategic narratives, as well as create their own video, memes, and audio content,” Microsoft said.

It added, “China’s geopolitical priorities remain unchanged but it has doubled down on its targets and increased the sophistication of its influence operations (IO) attacks.”

Is there a known China cyber actor that targeted India so far?

The company said that a Chinese cyber actor called Flax Typhoon targeted entities related to US-Philippines military exercises. It has also target etities in Philippines, Hong Kong, India, and the United States in 2023, Microsoft noted.



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