European Commission Grills Big Tech on AI Risks to Elections: Deepfakes, Misinformation in Focus – Cryptonews

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Jimmy Aki

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March 15, 2024 17:26 EDT
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European Commission

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The European Commission formally enquired into strategies adopted by big tech companies on March 14 to mitigate generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) risks capable of misleading election voters. The commission has given big tech an April 3 deadline to provide documents and information to its requests.

The European Commission issued the official request to big technological companies including Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Google Search, Bing, Snapchat, and YouTube.

European Commission Questions Big Techs over Generative AI’s Hazards


According to Bloomberg, this was conveyed in a formal request for information (RFI).

The commission asked the companies to provide further information about hazards posed by generative AI.

This is because the big tech companies allow users to create and spread content using the technology.

The EU is most concerned about the precautions to mitigate the risks of generative AI to election voters, believing that the spread of viral deepfakes and automated service manipulation can impact voters’ perceptions.

Following the information requests, the European Commission has the authority to impose penalties for errors, inconsistencies, or misrepresentation.

This decision follows the EU’s recent e-commerce and online governance regulations — the Digital Services Act (DSA).

This act classified eight platforms as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs). In this light, it has mandated VLOPs to assess and manage systemic risks in addition to following other outlined guidelines.

Meanwhile, election security is another area of concern that the commission is looking into as it seeks answers to the impact of generative AI on election processes.

Other concerns include gender-based violence, distribution of illicit content, defense of fundamental rights, minors, as well as mental health.

EU Moves Towards Election Security Rules


The European Commission has been actively looking into the impact of AI on voters, even as the use of AI increases across all fields.

A recent study showed the capacity of AI to spread misinformation among voters, for example.

The EU is already counting down to March 27 to finalize election security regulations. The European body has been requesting feedback on election security statutes including by public consultations.

This recent RFI to the big tech companies is considered a crucial request that will aid the creation of the EU’s election security policy.

Once created, the policy will help combat lingering election security challenges – including misinformation among voters.

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