OpenAI and Microsoft AI Tools Allegedly Produce Misleading Election Images, Researchers Report

OpenAI Tools (Credits: Mashable)

Image creation tools powered by artificial intelligence, including those from companies like OpenAI and Microsoft, have the potential to be used to produce photos that could promote election or voting-related disinformation, despite policies against creating misleading content, researchers said in a report on Wednesday.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit that monitors online hate speech, used generative AI tools to create images that raise concerns about falsehoods ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

They found that these AI-generated images could serve as ‘photo evidence’ to spread false claims, posing a significant challenge to preserving the integrity of elections.

OpenAI and Microsoft AI Tools Reports (Credits: EL PAÍS English)

CCDH tested several AI tools, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus, Microsoft’s Image Creator, Midjourney, and Stability AI’s DreamStudio, which can generate images from text prompts.

The report highlighted that these tools were most susceptible to prompts that asked for photos depicting election fraud, such as voting ballots in the trash, rather than images of political candidates like Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

While ChatGPT Plus and Image Creator were successful at blocking all prompts when asked for images of candidates, Midjourney performed the worst out of all the tools, generating misleading images in 65 per cent of the researchers’ tests.

Some Midjourney images are available publicly to other users, and CCDH said there is evidence some people are already using the tool to create misleading political content.

In response to the findings, a Stability AI spokesperson said the startup updated its policies to prohibit “fraud or the creation or promotion of disinformation.” An OpenAI spokesperson said the company was working to prevent abuse of its tools, while Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

The report comes after an agreement last month that OpenAI, Microsoft, and Stability AI were among a group of 20 tech companies that signed an agreement to work together to prevent deceptive AI content from interfering with elections globally this year.

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