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Microsoft's head economist thinks AI could pose a big threat to future elections

With the rise of AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Microsoft's Bing Chat, and Google's Bard, there's been a lot of talk about how these kinds of generative AI systems could take over jobs that are currently being handled by people. However, a top executive at Microsoft believes that there's a much bigger, and much closer, threat to people with the use of AI tools.

CNBC reports that Microsoft's chief economist Michael Schwarz, in an address today at a World Economic Forum event, said that future elections could be affected by "bad actors" with the use of AI systems. He stated, "Please remember, breaking is much easier than building". He added:

“Before AI could take all your jobs, it could certainly do a lot of damage in the hands of spammers, people who want to manipulate elections,” Schwarz continued while speaking on a panel on harnessing generative AI.

AI tools could indeed create realistic-looking but false information, along with deep fake images and even videos, that could be posted on social networks and go viral.

Earlier this week, Microsoft went into more detail about how it will develop and expand on its ethical and responsible rules for its AI products across the company. That might have been planned in advance of a scheduled meeting on Thursday with the CEOs of Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic with US Vice President Kamala Harris, according to CNBC.

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