Now armed with AI, America’s adversaries will try to influence election, security officials warn

WASHINGTON — America’s foreign adversaries will again seek to influence the upcoming U.S. elections, top security officials warned members of the Senate Wednesday, harnessing the latest innovations in artificial intelligence to spread online disinformation, mislead voters and undermine trust in democracy.

But the U.S. has greatly improved its ability to safeguard election security and identify and combat foreign disinformation campaigns since 2016, when Russia sought to influence the election, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The latest warning from security officials comes as advances in AI make it easier and cheaper than ever to create lifelike images, video and audio that can fool even the most discerning voter. Other tools of disinformation include state media, online influencers and networks of fake accounts that can quickly amplify false and misleading content.

Russia, China and Iran remain the main actors looking to interfere with the 2024 election, security officials said, but due to advances in technology other nations or even domestic groups could try and mount their own sophisticated disinformation campaigns.

Russia remains “the most active foreign threat to our elections,” Haines said, using its state media and online influencers to erode trust in democratic institutions and U.S.

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