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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Foreign Influence Campaigns Struggle with AI Implementation

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In Short:

OpenAI released its first threat report, highlighting how Russia, Iran, China, and Israel have used its technology for foreign influence operations. The report identified and shut down five networks in 2023-2024 using generative AI to automate operations. While the actors are not yet proficient in AI, they are experimenting with it. The report suggests that influence campaigns are struggling with AI’s limitations and may improve in the future.

OpenAI Releases First Threat Report

Today, OpenAI published its first threat report, highlighting attempts by actors from Russia, Iran, China, and Israel to leverage its technology for foreign influence operations globally. The report outlines five networks identified and dismantled by OpenAI between 2023 and 2024.

Challenges Faced by the Actors

While these actors are experimenting with generative AI to automate their operations, they are facing difficulties in mastering the technology. The report reveals that the AI struggles with idioms, grammar, and creating reliable copy or code.

Examples of AI Implementation

One network utilized ChatGPT to debug code for posting on Telegram, leading to inadvertent exposure of their operations. Another network used ChatGPT to develop content attacking members of the Chinese diaspora.

Effectiveness of AI-Generated Content

Despite attempts to disseminate AI-generated content on popular platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram, the content failed to gain mainstream traction. This indicates the relatively ineffective nature of these campaigns.

Future Implications

The report suggests that while current campaigns may be small and crude, there is potential for improvement and sophistication in the future. Experts warn of the evolving nature of influence campaigns on social media, which may adapt and innovate to evade detection.

Expert Insight

Researcher Jessica Walton from the CyberPeace Institute notes the use of generative AI by networks like Doppleganger to test the boundaries of social media platforms. She anticipates these campaigns to enhance their strategies over time.

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