Nothing has the potential to affect the 2024 American election quite like the rise of AI deepfakes. As the lines between reality and fabrication blur, these sophisticated artificial intelligence-generated audio and video content can significantly impact the democratic process.
With the ability to convincingly manipulate candidates' speeches, appearances, and actions, deepfakes are a powerful tool for whoever wields them. The only question is, who will harness this technology for their agenda? How will they use it, and what impact will their actions have on the progress and outcome of the electoral process?
To answer these questions, we embarked on a journey toward unmasking AI deepfakes and how they will affect the 2024 election. Through a survey that reached out to 1474 US citizens, 51.4% Democrats, 20.6% Republicans, and 28% Independents, we gained valuable perspectives on the subject, and this article summarizes them comprehensively.
- AI DEEPFAKE VIDEOS SWAYED 81.5% OF VOTERS,
WITH 36% ENTIRELY CHANGING THEIR VOTE.
- 77% OF VOTERS HAVE ENCOUNTERED AI DEEPFAKE
CONTENT RELATED TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES.
- JOE BIDEN & DONALD TRUMP ARE THE TOP TWO CANDIDATES WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF AI-GENERATED DEEPFAKE CONTENT.
- AI DEEPFAKES IMPACT: SKEPTICISM,
MISINFORMATION, AND ANGER AMONG VOTERS.
- 74.7% OF RESPONDENTS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF AI DEEPFAKES IN THE UPCOMING 2024 ELECTION.
THE RISE OF AI DEEPFAKES
In the political realm, Artificial Intelligence deepfakes have opened doors to multiple unprecedented challenges for candidates and voters alike.
These computer-generated video and audio snippets can misrepresent what candidates stand for, making it more difficult for voters to discern who's worth their vote.
But are they really a major cause for concern? Here's what the findings from our survey have to say.
77% OF VOTERS HAVE ENCOUNTERED AI DEEPFAKE CONTENT RELATED TO politics
About......a lot of results (0.58 seconds)
Of the 1474 survey participants, about 1135 have come across some form of AI deepfake. While this seems like a huge number, the risk it poses steadily declines when you realize that only 39% reported regular encounters with AI deepfake content targeting political candidates.
This number drops further, revealing that only 11% of the overall voter population actively engages with deepfake content. The perspective we get from this is that while AI deepfakes in political settings are becoming more commonplace, their degree of reported regular encounters and interactions with this content is fairly low.
JOE BIDEN & DONALD TRUMP ARE THE TOP TWO CANDIDATES WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF AI-Generated Contents
Considering that the AI deepfake boom started around the same time as the 2020 United States presidential election, it's understandable why the election's candidates are the major subjects of this technology.
A staggering 76% of voters have encountered AI-generated deepfake content featuring Joe Biden, while 75% of people have come across AI deepfake content involving Donald Trump.
IMPACT ON THE VOTING DECISION
The emergence of AI deepfakes has raised concerns about their potential impact on voting decisions among the U.S. electorate. While some believe these videos can have far-reaching consequences, others view them as stunts and believe that voters will be able to see past their tricks. To break the tie, let's look at what our findings revealed.
AI deepfake videos swayed 81.5% of voters, with 36% entirely changing their vote
The results from our survey indicate that AI deepfakes have an immense ability to sway the voter's mind. In fact, these videos effectively make 81.5% of voters question their decisions. Even more alarming is the fact that 36% of the surveyed voters indicated that their encounter with AI deepfakes changed their minds, completely influencing their candidate of choice.
Below is a breakdown of deepfakes content's impact on voting decisions.
|90.0% of voters||admit to being swayed by an AI deepfake video||showing their preferred candidate promoting violence|
|88.7% of voters||admit to being swayed by an AI deepfake video||showing their preferred candidate engaging in scandalous activities.|
|88.6% of voters||admit to being swayed by an AI deepfake video||showing their preferred candidate promoting violence|
|58.8% of voters||admit to being swayed by an AI deepfake video||depicting candidates endorsing the opposing party|
RESPONSES TO AI DEEPFAKE POLITICAL CONTENT
People's responses to AI deepfake political content can vary significantly, depending on their awareness of the technology, their level of skepticism, and their personal biases. Here are some common ways that the participants of our survey respond to Artificial Intelligence deepfake political content:
Confusion in Social Media Content Due to Deepfakes
48.8% of respondents express confusion and uncertainty about the authenticity of political content on social media, attributing it to the presence of deepfakes
48.8% of respondents express confusion and uncertainty about the authenticity of political content on social media, attributing it to the presence of deepfakes. They use social media platforms to reach out to friends or individuals who may have more knowledge on the matter to get their opinion.
Often, this confusion arises for several reasons. Here's a breakdown of the factors contributing to AI deepfake voter confusion.
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR CONFUSION
Emotional Responses to AI Deepfake Content
The other prevalent reaction to AI deepfake content is emotion. These fabricated audios and videos often heighten viewers' emotions. For many, these emotions can range from skepticism, misinformation, and sometimes anger.
When facing AI deepfakes content, 43.1% of the respondents said they feel skeptical. They might be more discerning, question the authenticity of the material, and actively seek out reliable sources or fact-checking organizations to verify its accuracy.
On the other hand, 41.8% feel misled and misinformed. The prevalence of deepfakes tends to erode trust in media sources and politicians.
Lastly, 26.9% feel angry. Deepfake political content can reinforce individuals' beliefs and biases, leading them to accept the manipulated content and respond negatively to it. It may also charge people up and fuel their anger towards certain individuals, groups, or ideas.
Emotional responses to AI Deepfake content
AI DEEPFAKES IN THE 2024 ELECTION
74.7% OF RESPONDENTS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF AI DEEPFAKES IN THE UPCOMING 2024 ELECTION
Over 70% of the interviewees expressed concerns about the potential impact of AI deepfakes in the coming elections. For this group, the following are the key reasons why they are concerned.
Despite these concerns, at least 25% of the population isn't worried about the impact of AI deepfakes in the 2024 election. To have a quarter of the population still have faith in the ability of the American citizenry and electoral process to withstand the pressure of this emerging technology is impressive.
Political AI Deepfakes: Routine Occurrences, Limited Threats
In today's technologically advanced world, AI deepfakes have become routine occurrences in the political landscape, eliciting both fascination and concern. These highly sophisticated manipulations of audio and video content have the potential to alter political narratives and influence public perception.
However, despite their increasing prevalence, the actual threat posed by AI deepfakes remains limited. While they can certainly create moments of confusion and raise questions about the authenticity of the information, the impact on the overall democratic process is not as dire as some might fear.