Google has announced a comprehensive plan designed to protect the integrity of numerous high-profile elections slated for 2024, including the pivotal U.S. presidential race. In response to the challenges presented by the proliferation of misinformation in previous electoral cycles, the search engine giant has resolved to limit responses from its generative AI tools to queries related to upcoming elections.
New Safeguards for AI Platforms
Central to Google's initiative is the restriction of election-based queries on its AI platforms. Two of the main tools affected by these constraints will be Bard, Google's conversational AI chatbot, and the enhanced AI Search Generative Experience. Details on which specific queries will be curtailed remain undisclosed; however, Google pledges to approach the matter with substantial caution.
Alongside these limitations, Google is introducing measures to foster higher standards of transparency. Upcoming policies compel YouTube creators to openly disclose whether their content contains altered or synthetic elements. Political advertisers are also required to reveal the use of such content in their campaign ads, reinforcing Google's commitment to truthfulness in digital electioneering.
Countering Cyber Threats and Disinformation
Google's efforts extend beyond the management of generative AI and content disclosures. The company maintains a promise to surface information from authoritative sources across its service offerings that include Search, News, YouTube, Maps, and Ads. In parallel, the Advanced Protection Program provides robust cyber defense systems to safeguard political campaigners from digital intrusions and attacks.
Industry observers anticipate that additional technology firms will follow suit, announcing similar intentions to tackle misinformation and maintain transparency in the face of critical elections. Google's current measures place it at the forefront of this initiative, potentially setting a precedent for its peers in the tech sector.
Microsoft Warns of AI Impact in Politics
In November, Microsoft Security warned of how AI will impact the US Presidential Elections. The report, titled “Protecting Election 2024 from Foreign Malign Influence”, highlights the potential interference from authoritarian states using AI and other advanced technologies.
This interference threatens the very integrity of electoral systems worldwide, from India to the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The report calls attention to the necessity of a unified front from governments, technology companies, and civic bodies to counter these emerging threats.