Hillary Clinton Issues Stark Warning: AI Tech Could Make 2016 Election Disinformation Look Primitive

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Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state of the United States, described herself Thursday as a victim of election disinformation. She warned that artificial intelligence will make her experience look “primitive” with its advancement in the 2024 election.

Clinton took part in an event at Columbia University titled “AI’s Impact on the 2024 Global Elections.”

She spoke about her own experience of losing to Donald Trump in 2016, pointing out the Internet was filled with fake content, memes, and conspiracy theories in the run-up to Election Day.

“I don’t think any of us understood it. I did not understand it. I can tell you, that my campaign did not understand it. Their, you know, the so-called ‘Dark Web’ was filled with these kinds of memes and stories and videos of all sorts…portraying me in all kinds of… less than flattering ways,” Clinton said. “And we knew something’s going on, but we didn’t understand the full extent of the very clever way in which it was insinuated into social media.”

Clinton said that it was the leap to social media that accelerated false content’s incorporation with Americans.

Some people believe that I have done these horrible things today because they saw them on the Internet. They saw it in their Facebook feed, on Twitter, or Snapchat. She warned: “They were, you knew, following the breadcrumbs.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate claimed that online conspiracies against her are being used now to create false content using more advanced technology.

We’re now talking about the technological leap that’s taking place. Clinton explained that there were videos of women who looked like her, but they weren’t. They had to turn the woman’s back so she couldn’t be identified. “Now, they are free to take me.”

I’ve heard from people who are experts and students in this field tell me that they use the material they have about me to test themselves and improve. I’m worried because having videos that are defamatory about you can be a real pain. You can be sure of that. “But if they are presented in such a way that it is impossible to tell the difference, you don’t know whether or not the information is true. That’s a completely different level of danger.”

Deepfakes, which are AI-generated audio, video, or images showing altered or fabricated scenarios have already caused concern among U.S. government officials in advance of the November elections.

These same officials are concerned as well about the possibility of hostile foreign actors interfering in the cycle 2024.

In a speech he gave last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that AI technology was lowering the bar for malicious actors who wanted to interfere in U.S. elections.

Wray stated that “this election cycle the U.S. faces more adversaries who are moving faster and using new technology.”

“Advances made in generative AI are, for example, lowering the barriers to entry. This makes it easier for foreign adversaries, both sophisticated and less sophisticated, to engage in malign influences. It also makes foreign influence attempts by both old and new players, more realistic and difficult to detect.”