Artificial Intelligence (AI) Breakthrough

With elections in at least 83 countries, will 2024 be the year of AI freak-out?

Fears grow over AI's impact on the 2024 election | The Hill

Central Idea:

The year 2024 is marked by a significant global exercise in democracy, with concerns arising over the impact of AI on elections. However, while efforts to regulate AI and address disinformation are underway, there are potential unintended consequences that may exacerbate existing challenges and concentrate power within the AI industry.

Key Highlights:

  • Increased global engagement in elections in 2024 prompts worries about AI-driven disinformation.
  • Governments rush to regulate AI to combat disinformation, but unintended consequences may worsen existing issues.
  • Concentration of power within the AI industry may occur due to regulatory requirements, hindering competition and innovation.
  • Ethical and transparency guidelines for AI development face challenges due to differing values and priorities.
  • Democracy faces numerous challenges beyond AI, including political repression, violence, and electoral fraud.

AI-driven elections, anyone? - India Today

Key Challenges:

  • Balancing the need to regulate AI with potential unintended consequences that may worsen existing problems.
  • Addressing power concentration within the AI industry without stifling innovation and competition.
  • Establishing ethical guidelines for AI development amidst diverse societal values and priorities.
  • Ensuring meaningful transparency in AI systems through effective auditing mechanisms.
  • Anticipating future risks of AI in electoral processes and formulating proactive regulations.

Main Terms:

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Disinformation
  • Deepfakes
  • Regulation
  • Concentration of power
  • Ethical guidelines
  • Transparency
  • Electoral risks

Important Phrases:

  • “Ultimate election year”
  • “Digital voter manipulation”
  • “AI bogeyman”
  • “Content moderation”
  • “Watermarking”
  • “Red-teaming exercises”
  • “Existential risks”
  • “Complex adaptive system”
  • “Toothless regulations”


  • “Democracy has many demons to battle even before we get to the AI demon.”
  • “AI-sorcery may, on the margin, not rank among the biggest mischief-makers this year.”
  • “It is better that these well-intended regulators understand the unintended consequences of rushed regulations.”
  • “Voters in elections beyond 2024 will be grateful for such foresight.”

Useful Statements:

  • Rushed regulations to combat AI-related electoral risks may exacerbate existing challenges.
  • Power concentration within the AI industry could hinder innovation and ethical oversight.
  • Ethical guidelines for AI development must consider diverse societal values and priorities.
  • Effective auditing mechanisms are crucial for ensuring transparency in AI systems.
  • Proactive regulations are needed to anticipate and mitigate future risks of AI in electoral processes.

Examples and References:

  • Manipulated videos affecting political leaders’ images in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
  • Concentration of AI investments and influence in a few major companies.
  • Challenges faced by New York’s law requiring audits of automated employment decision tools.
  • Voluntary transparency mechanisms offered by companies like IBM and OpenAI.

Facts and Data:

  • Close to half of the world’s population engaging in elections in 2024.
  • Three companies received two-thirds of all investments in generative AI in the previous year.
  • New York’s law on auditing automated employment decision tools found to be ineffective.
  • Over 83 elections taking place worldwide in 2024.

Critical Analysis:

Efforts to regulate AI in electoral processes must strike a delicate balance between addressing immediate risks and avoiding unintended consequences that may worsen existing challenges. Power concentration within the AI industry poses significant ethical and competitive concerns, while diverse societal values complicate the establishment of universal ethical guidelines. Ensuring transparency in AI systems requires robust auditing mechanisms and proactive regulatory measures to anticipate future risks.

Way Forward:

  • Proceed cautiously with AI regulations to avoid exacerbating existing challenges.
  • Foster competition and innovation within the AI industry while addressing concerns about power concentration.
  • Engage diverse stakeholders to establish ethical guidelines that reflect societal values and priorities.
  • Implement effective auditing mechanisms to ensure transparency in AI systems.
  • Anticipate future risks of AI in electoral processes and formulate proactive regulations to mitigate them.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch