In a recent interview with CNBC, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, has raised concerns about the potential misuse of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) in spreading misinformation during the upcoming 2024 elections. Schmidt, who co-founded Schmidt Futures, warned that the proliferation of AI tools could lead to unprecedented false information on social media platforms.
AI Misinformation: A Growing Concern
Schmidt expressed his concerns during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's “Squawk Box”. He stated, “The 2024 elections are going to be a mess because social media is not protecting us from false generated AI. They're working on it, but they haven't solved it yet. And in fact, the trust and safety groups are getting made smaller, not larger.” This statement highlights the increasing worry about the role of AI in spreading misinformation, a problem that social media platforms are struggling to address.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) June 26, 2023
Balancing Free Speech and Misinformation
Google recently made a controversial decision to stop removing false claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 U.S. election from YouTube. The tech giant explained that this move was an attempt to balance the goals of protecting the community and fostering open discussion. When asked about this policy change, Schmidt suggested that social media should allow for “free speech for humans, not computers.”
Schmidt further suggested a potential solution to the problem of AI-generated misinformation. He proposed that social media platforms should mark all content, know who the users are, and hold people accountable if they violate the law. He said, “It doesn't solve the problem of, you and I disagree on facts, but at least it establishes a basis that these are humans who are making these claims.”