Minnesota Secretary of State spoke to Congress Wednesday afternoon on AI, elections
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon spoke to a committee in Congress on Wednesday afternoon, warning about the dangers artificial intelligence poses to elections.
Simon spoke about the impact of AI on elections in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.
“A year ago we weren’t talking so much about generative AI,” Simon told the committee. “The release of the newly accessible tools such as CHAT GPT challenged all that and in the hands of those who want to mislead AI is a new and improved tool.”
He argued for a nationwide response to new concerns about misinformation.
“Artificial Intelligence is not a threat to American democracy in and of itself, but it is an emerging and powerful amplifier of existing threats,” said Simon in a statement. “All of us who touch the election process need to be watchful and proactive – especially as the 2024 presidential contest approaches.”
In Minnesota, his office is getting help to stop potential election interference. A bill signed into law in May makes it a crime for a person to knowingly disseminate a deep fake within 90 days of an election.
5 INVESTIGATES spoke with Simon earlier this year, who said the potential for people to misuse the technology concerns him.
“This is just another tool for the bad guys to get bad information into the hands of voters,” said Simon.
“I think at its most extreme, we’re talking about things like deep fakes, like literally fake videos of people that look real. And it’s not a real person at all,” he continued.
As previously reported in August, a panel from the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously to consider regulating political ads that use A.I.-generated material.
Still, Simon said he is worried about people putting out content with disinformation around the voting process, using him or other trusted election officials.
“False information about a polling place, or about voting hours or about the rules of the game, who may or may not vote,” said Simon. “If some AI source basically hijacked my words, or created words that I didn’t say… our office has to be very quickly on the heels of that dishonesty, ready to rebut that and to denounce that and to set the record straight.”