The Role of AI in Election Fraud or Voting Misrepresentation!

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: November 5, 2020

The tension leading up to the
elections is packed with clever campaigning activities by all political
parties. This is the time when candidates give their all to appease the nation
since only the people have the power to decide the fate of the country for the
next four years. This is especially hard – every voter comes with their own set
of ideologies, and all political parties try to influence the voters by using
varied techniques, including mass media advertising, public rallies, and social
media campaigns, etc. The candidate decides after analyzing the critical pros
and cons of every government.

Source: Bridge Michigan

The techniques to win the elections
have evolved significantly over the years. Technology has changed the way
politicians approached the election season as it has catalyzed the engagement
with the voters. Technological advancements, like Big Data, are pivotal in
increasing access and maximizing the effectiveness of email campaigns. Former
President Barack Obama was amongst the first presidents to have used Data 
Analytics in his campaigns through which he was able to raise up to $1 billion
of campaign money.

In addition to Big Data, Artificial
Intelligence and Machine Learning have also promised a magnificent impact in
the election campaigns. This year, the elections have been insane! So what role
can artificial intelligence play during this nerve-wracking experience? Well,
there are several systems of AI that can predict the outcome of the election.
In fact, some technicians argue that the prediction made by Artificial Intelligence
is more accurate than the verdict retrieved from the polls. In 2016, most poll-based
predictions favored Clinton, but only the AI systems were able to forecast
Trump’s triumph accurately, and that’s exactly what happened.

How does AI make such predictions?
Basically, these systems view data available on social media and put it up for
sentiment analysis. By doing so, the systems can categorize the emotions
expressed in the text, meaning they can clarify if a post is in favor or
against a candidate. The next step is to figure out the voting patterns.

you know Artificial Intelligence can help win the elections?

Engage Voters Using AI

Artificial Intelligence and machine
learning are critical tools that can be utilized to engage voters in the
election campaigns. Furthermore, it can make them better informed on relevant
political problems that happened throughout the country. Several statistical
techniques, including machine learning algorithms, better define patterns in

What exactly do we mean by
patterns? Well, this includes the data consumption patterns, social and
relation behavior, and psychographic user profiles. All of this data is
analyzed after which advertising campaigns are devised keeping individual
psychology of each voter in mind. This technique works miracles in persuading
voters not only to vote but also vote for the desired political parties.

In addition to AI, autonomous bots
help spread information like wildfire. These bots are essentially automatic
programs that are programmed to achieve a designated task. They can be created
to detect fake news and inaccurate information. Hence, the way Twitter flags
Trump’s tweet, AI issues warning against incorrect information all over the
internet. This step helps in stopping the voter from getting influenced by the
opposing party.

AI for the Benefit of the Voter

Artificial Intelligence isn’t
designed only to support political parties. In fact, it can be used to collect
information from all over the internet, to figure out the general verdict from
the voters. In a way, this technology educates the voter and makes them better
informed on the situation. Therefore, micro-targeting campaigns can inform
voters on several election-related problems to clarify their understanding and
make the decision easier. 

This unique technology can also be
used to provide information regarding specific areas that are important to the
voter. For example, if a voter is concerned about the economic situation of the
country, he or she can use this technology to find out what every party stands
for. Basically, AI helps in the personalization of information so that voters
can be better informed.

Can AI be misused?

This is one of the most common
questions that voters ask. The simple answer to this complicated question is
yes. Technology, in general, can be used to spread wrong messages and malign
against other parties. Therefore, if you know the behavior and psychographic
profiles of the voters, you can easily use Artificial Intelligence to send
insincere and fake political messages. These messages are highly personalized
and send fraudulent signals to appease the expectations of the voter.

This strategy was used in the 2016
election season. Researchers from the University of Washington discovered that
automatic social media bots increased Twitter traffic for pro-trump hashtags.
The number was double the activity of Hillary Clinton.
The situation got out of control because a political consulting firm called
Cambridge Analytica was soon accused of manipulating the promotional
narratives, thereby increasing anti-Hillary voters. This company came with a
masterstroke as it gained access to the data of 87 million Facebook users and
put together their psychographic profiles. After this, it was like dominos
because Facebook’s own targeted advertising system came in full force to
display content that supported their profiles.

Source: Forbes 

Similar techniques were observed
during the UK elections in 2017 – political bots help in spreading fake news on
social media, and these bots successfully swayed the minds of the voters by
preventing them from voting at all on the day of the election.

Another problematic development of
AI and machine learning was observed during the 2018 US midterm elections. This
interesting technology is known as deepfake, and it is in the form of an audio
or video which is generated by AI to maliciously show someone saying something
that they’ve not actually said or done. Therefore, there could be a video of
Donald Trump in which he speaks urgently about the heated trade war with China.
The problem with these videos is that they look genuine and can be used to
influence impressionable minds.

This is the time when politicians
must practice honesty and authenticity. These innovative technologies shouldn’t
be used to spread inaccurate information or divert the attention of voters in
the wrong direction.


Updated November 5, 2020
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