The Influence of AI on the 2024 Elections: A Detailed Look

In India and Indonesia, dead leaders are rising to throw their support behind their political successors; rapper Eminem is endorsing opposition parties in South Africa; and in the United States, President Biden is telling voters in New Hampshire to stay home. All of these things “happened”–but none of them are real. The generative AI revolution is here, and it’s coming for your elections. Welcome to the future, welcome to 2024.

For the very first time, the widespread availability of generative AI is going to clash head-on with political campaigns and elections. 2024 is already an unprecedented year for democracy: More than 2 billion people—the largest number ever—will vote in national, local, and regional elections in over 60 countries.

The global electorate now has to contend with this new tech. Deepfakes can be used for everything from sabotage to satire to the seemingly mundane: Already, we’ve seen AI chatbots write speeches and answer questions about a candidate’s policy. But we’ve also seen AI used to humiliate female politicians and make world leaders appear to promote the joys of passive-income scams. AI has been used to deploy bots and even tailor automated texts to voters.

Experts understand that generative AI is set to significantly alter the landscape of information, however, the exact nature of this change is still under investigation. Issues such as misinformation and disinformation, scam-laden or hostile content, long problems for tech platforms, will most likely become even more prevalent despite the safeguards implanted by corporations.

In order to truly apprehend the incursion and transformation of the political and informational environment by generative AI, we have started to monitor its usage worldwide and will continue for the remainder of the year.

The list and map displayed here will be regularly updated throughout 2024. On this map, you can see the countries where generative AI usage in elections has been identified and how frequent. Furthermore, you will be able to find more information about each specific case on the cards, such as the time it happened and its nature. We will also be monitoring the companies, tools, and platforms implicated apart from the information presented on each example.

In North America, elections to be included are in Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and the United States.

Elections in Europe include: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Many of these countries are also part of the European Union, which has parliamentary elections this year.

Elections in Asia include: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Mongolia, North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.

Elections in Africa include: Algeria, Botswana, Chad, Comoros, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Togo, and Tunisia.

To learn more about our methodology and submit an example of AI being used in elections, please click here.

ASCII animations: David Szakaly
Source Images: Getty, Willy Kurniawan/Reuters (Asia)
AI Images courtesy of: Luke Brocks (Biden); Mark Kaye (Trump); Sun News (Karunanidhi/DMK Party); @doctorrichabjp (Kejriwal Jail); Taiwan Fact Check Center (Xi Jinping and Lai Ching-te); @sobingrouper (Rob Wittman); @zelensky_neofficial (Zelensky); Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine (Victoria Shi)

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