What Does Information Integrity Mean for Democracies?

Article by Kamya Yadav and Samantha Lai: “Democracies around the world are encountering unique challenges with the rise of new technologies. Experts continue to debate how social media has impacted democratic discourse, pointing to how algorithmic recommendationsinfluence operations, and cultural changes in norms of communication alter the way people consume information. Meanwhile, developments in artificial intelligence (AI) surface new concerns over how the technology might affect voters’ decision-making process. Already, we have seen its increased use in relation to political campaigning. 

In the run-up to Pakistan’s 2024 presidential elections, former Prime Minister Imran Khan used an artificially generated speech to campaign while imprisoned. Meanwhile, in the United States, a private company used an AI-generated imitation of President Biden’s voice to discourage people from voting. In response, the Federal Communications Commission outlawed the use of AI-generated robocalls.

Evolving technologies present new threats. Disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda are all different faces of the same problem: Our information environment—the ecosystem in which we disseminate, create, receive, and process information—is not secure and we lack coherent goals to direct policy actions. Formulating short-term, reactive policy to counter or mitigate the effects of disinformation or propaganda can only bring us so far. Beyond defending democracies from unending threats, we should also be looking at what it will take to strengthen them. This begs the question: How do we work toward building secure and resilient information ecosystems? How can policymakers and democratic governments identify policy areas that require further improvement and shape their actions accordingly?…(More)”.

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