South Korean President says that democracy is under threat from AI

Flags of Iran, China, Russia and North Korea on a wall. China North Korea Iran Russia alliance
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AI-generated fake news and disinformation is a threat to democracy, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has said at the Summit for Democracy.

A number of the attendant countries have accused China and Russia of executing campaigns designed to destabilize democratic systems by using AI to produce malicious propaganda.

The summit is taking place in Seoul, with this being the third year the event has taken place since its launch as part of an initiative from US President Joe Biden.

AI is a double-edged sword for democracy

Speaking at the event, the South Korean President said, “Fake news and disinformation based on artificial intelligence and digital technology not only violates individual freedom and human rights but also threatens democratic systems.”

More than 30 countries are in attendance at the summit, which seeks to discuss threats to democracy and find ways to mitigate the risks they pose to the rights afforded under democratic systems.

2024 is a critical year for elections, with almost half of the world's population heading to the polls this year. Among the most important are the US presidential election and the UK general election, which is expected to be held towards the end of this year.

Speaking at the event, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said, “As authoritarian and repressive regimes deploy technologies to undermine democracy and human rights, we need to ensure that technology sustains and supports democratic values and norms.”

A number of countries, the US and Poland among them, have spoken about the threat presented by Russia to democratic systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin has just secured a predicted victory to secure power until at least 2030, after eradicating the possibility of any serious opposition from running against the incumbent.

Robert Kupiecki, undersecretary of state for the Polish foreign ministry, said, “The only thing more gruesome than the Russian actions during their ongoing invasion of Ukraine is the disgusting web of lies spun by Russian propaganda, accelerated by social media, deep fake techniques and omnipresent bots.”

As if to highlight the threat of Russia, China and their allies, North Korea launched several ballistic missiles into the sea just before the start of the event in an apparent show of force against the US and its allies at the event.

In the opening statement of the summit, Yoon said that countries need to better share intelligence concerning Russian and Chinese use of AI in order to protect democracy.

Via Reuters

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict Collins is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro covering privacy and security. Before settling into journalism he worked as a Livestream Production Manager, covering games in the National Ice Hockey League for 5 years and contributing heavily to the advancement of livestreaming within the league. Benedict is mainly focused on security issues such as phishing, malware, and cyber criminal activity, but he also likes to draw on his knowledge of geopolitics and international relations to understand the motives and consequences of state-sponsored cyber attacks.

He has a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, alongside a BA in Politics with Journalism, both from the University of Buckingham. His masters dissertation, titled 'Arms sales as a foreign policy tool,' argues that the export of weapon systems has been an integral part of the diplomatic toolkit used by the US, Russia and China since 1945. Benedict has also written about NATO's role in the era of hybrid warfare, the influence of interest groups on US foreign policy, and how reputational insecurity can contribute to the misuse of intelligence.

Outside of work Ben follows many sports; most notably ice hockey and rugby. When not running or climbing, Ben can most often be found deep in the shrubbery of a pub garden.