Hundreds of groups urge big tech CEOs to step up fight against AI-powered lies

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Hundreds of groups urge big tech CEOs to step up fight against AI-powered lies

More than 200 civil advocacy groups are calling on Big Tech to step up their fight against artificial intelligence-powered disinformation as billions of voters head to the polls in elections around the world this year.

The coalition of activists wrote a letter to the CEOs of Meta, Reddit, Google and XK and eight other tech executives on Tuesday, urging them to adopt more aggressive policies that would curb dangerous political propaganda.

These additional measures are critical in 2024 as national elections are being held in more than 60 countries, the groups alleged in their letter, a copy of which was obtained exclusively by The Technology 202.

“There are a lot of elections happening around the world this year and social media platforms are one of the most important ways that people typically connect with information,” he said. Nora BenavidezSenior counsel at the digital rights group Free Press. Companies “need to step up platform integrity measures for the moment.”

The organizations — including civil rights group Color of Change and LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD — also urged the tech giants to improve their policies on political ads, including banning deepfakes and including any AI-generated content. Also labeling the content.

For months, advocates have been warning that the rise of AI-generated audio clips and videos is already causing confusion in elections around the world. For example, politicians have been able to dismiss potentially damaging evidence — such as hotel attempts or recordings of them criticizing their opponents — as AI-generated forgeries. And AI risks could lead to real-world harm in politically unstable democracies, experts say.

Tech companies such as Meta, Google and Midgerni have insisted they are working on systems to identify AI-generated content with watermarks. Just last week, Meta said it would expand its AI-labeling policy to apply to a wider range of video, audio and images.

But tech companies are unlikely to catch all the misleading AI-generated content spreading across their networks or fix the underlying algorithms that make some of these posts go viral in the first place, experts say.

Benavidez said that “people … are not on high alert” when they use social media in a typical passive way. “That’s one of the problems.”

“Social media has dampened our curiosity and amplified this siled echo chamber effect,” he added.

The groups called on tech companies to be more transparent about the data powering their AI models and criticized weak policies and systems to fight political disinformation over the past few years.

For example, X has changed some of its rules against disinformation and allowed far-right extremists to return to the platform. Meta is offering users the option to opt out of the company’s fact-checking program, allowing debunked posts to gain more attention in news feeds. YouTube has reversed a policy banning videos falsely promoting the idea that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, while Meta began allowing such claims in political ads. was

Meanwhile, mass layoffs at X, formerly Twitter, and other big tech companies have hurt teams dedicated to promoting accurate information online. And an aggressive conservative legal movement prevented the federal government from warning tech companies about foreign disinformation campaigns on their social networks.

Activists argue that if tech companies don’t step up, dangerous propaganda on social media could lead to extremism or political violence.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll see even more persuasive disinformation in the form of deepfakes,” said the meta-whistleblower. Francis Hogan, whose group, Beyond the Curtain, signed the letter. “Even if you’re not willing to believe that mass violence can happen in the United States … countries with more fragile democracies … are just as vulnerable to all these manipulations.

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  • FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworsal Talk on net neutrality at an event in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, 2:15 p.m
  • “Global Perspectives on AI Governance” will be held at Georgetown University Law School on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
  • The Knight-Georgetown Institute hosts “Burning Questions: Online Fraud and Generative AI” on Thursday at 11 a.m.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on “Where We Are: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996” on Thursday at 1 p.m.

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