Experts are warning that artificial intelligence (AI) could present a “significant threat” to both the 2024 primary and presidential elections after a recent AI-generated phone call targeted New Hampshire voters using President Joe Biden’s voice to discourage residents from voting in the state’s primary election.
According to Fox News, the recent AI-generated phone call targeting New Hampshire voters digitally manipulated the president’s voice. The fraudulent phone call discouraged voters from participating in the state’s recent primary election, claiming that voters would only be helping former President Donald Trump.
Optiv Vice President of Cyber Risk, Strategy, and Board Relations James Turgal recently told Fox News that generative AI presents a “significant threat” to U.S. elections.
Turgal, who previously worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), warned, “I believe the greatest impact could be AI’s capacity to disrupt the security of party election offices, volunteers and state election systems.”
According to Turgal, individuals targeting American elections have multiple different goals, including inciting political violence, changing voting results, and undermining the confidence of U.S. citizens in the electoral process. He warned that AI could cause election interference threats to become more widespread.
“In the end, the threat posed by AI to the American election system is no different than the use of malware and ransomware deployed by nation-states and organized crime groups against our personal and corporate networks on a daily basis,” Turgal noted. “The battle to mitigate these threats can and should be fought by both the United States government and the private sector.”
To address the threat of AI election interference, Turgal told Fox News that U.S. election offices should implement policies to guard against social engineering attacks and that election staff members should receive training on potential AI election threats.
Asked whether American voters could see more AI-generated content intended to influence voting decisions, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Chris Mattmann told Fox News, “The cat’s out of the bag.”
Mattman warned that AI programs are capable of generating advanced content that seems perfectly authentic, which creates an even greater risk of election interference.
“It’s at that point when they’re literally indiscernible, even from computer programs, that we have a big problem when we start not being able to do some of these steps, like attribution and detection. That’s the moment that you hear everyone worrying about, including myself,” he said.