OpenAI Uncovers Covert AI Operations Influencing Indian Elections; pushed anti-BJP, pro-Congress content

RNS: In a stunning revelation just four days before the Lok Sabha election results, OpenAI has disclosed that it disrupted covert operations leveraging artificial intelligence models to influence the elections in India.

According to a threat intelligence report by OpenAI, a for-hire Israeli firm commenced generating comments focusing on India, criticizing the ruling BJP party and praising the opposition Congress party. This was revealed by the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, according to the different media reports.

The activity, concentrated on the Indian elections, was flagged in May. The report identifies the network as being operated, named “Zero Zeno,” by STOIC, a political campaign management firm based in Israel.

OpenAI’s report highlights campaigns that employed AI for covert operations aimed at manipulating public opinion or influencing political outcomes. “While we observed these threat actors using our models for a range of IO (information operations), they all attempted to deceive people about who they were or what they were trying to achieve,” the report states.

The report further alleges that a cluster of accounts, managed from Israel, was used to generate and edit content for these covert operations. The content was disseminated on platforms such as X, Facebook, Instagram, websites, and YouTube.

“In early May, the network began targeting audiences in India with English-language content,” the report asserts.

OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research organization, was founded in December 2015.

Reacting to the report, Union Minister of Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar remarked, “It is absolutely clear and obvious that BJP was and is the target of influence operations, misinformation, and foreign interference, being done by and/or on behalf of some Indian political parties.”

He described the situation as a “dangerous threat” to the country’s democracy.

“It is clear: vested interests in India and outside are driving this and need to be deeply scrutinized, investigated, and exposed,” Chandrasekhar said. “My view at this point is that these platforms could have released this much earlier, and not so late when elections are ending,” he added.

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