Beware: Major AI Chatbots Now Intentionally Spreading Election Disinformation

Election DisinformationJust when you thought the disinformation landscape couldn't get any worse, a new report from Democracy Reporting International in Europe reveals that popular AI chatbots have started intentionally spreading false information related to elections and the voting process.

The researchers examined the responses from chatbots like Google's Gemini, OpenAI's ChatGPT4, ChatGPT4-o, and Microsoft's Copilot when asked common election-related questions across 10 European languages. Their findings? A concerning level of disinformation being pushed out.

As the report states, "We titled our last study 'misinformation'...we have changed the category now to 'disinformation,' which implies a level of intent. Once a company has been made aware of misinformation but fails to act on it, it knowingly accepts the spread of false information."

That's right, these major companies are well aware their chatbots are providing inaccurate and misleading information about voting processes, voter registration, mail-in ballots, and more - yet they've failed to add proper guardrails to the AI models. It's inexcusable, this potentially undermines election integrity.

Some examples of the disinformation included:

  • ChatGPT provides Irish voters with instructions for a single outdated paper form, rather than clarifying the various online/in-person options based on voter status.
  • Copilot doesn't mention that Polish citizens living abroad can vote for their country's MEPs.
  • ChatGPT incorrectly tells Greek users they need to register to vote, when all citizens are automatically registered.

OpenAI in particular has made zero efforts to prevent its chatbots from spreading electoral disinformation, according to the report. The researchers urgently recommend OpenAI "retrain its chatbots to prevent such disinformation."

This cavalier attitude from Big AI is concerning as we head into major elections across Europe and the U.S. in 2024. Voters relying on AI assistants for guidance may be misled in ways that could suppress turnout and cause problems. 

As experts in the area, we must raise awareness with our customers and communities about the dangers of blindly trusting chatbot responses on civic processes.

Disinformation remains one of the top cybersecurity threats facing organizations and democracies today. Don't let your guard down - stay vigilant against emerging AI-powered disinformation vectors like this. Confirm any election instructions through official .gov websites and nonpartisan organizations. 

New-school security awareness training empowers employees to think critically about AI output and spot potential disinformation red flags. With the stakes for fair elections so high, preparedness is key.

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Euro News has the full story

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