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Meta Launches Team to Combat Disinformation and AI Harms Ahead of EU Elections

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced the creation of a dedicated team aimed at combating disinformation and mitigating harms associated with artificial intelligence (AI) in preparation for the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Marco Pancini, Meta’s head of EU affairs, revealed plans for the “EU-specific Elections Operations Center,” which will assemble experts from various domains within the company. The primary focus of this initiative will be to address misinformation, influence operations, and the risks stemming from the misuse of AI technology.

In a blog post, Pancini outlined Meta’s strategy, emphasizing the importance of facilitating fact-checking efforts during critical moments such as elections. Meta aims to streamline content evaluation by enabling fact-checking partners across the EU to swiftly identify and assess election-related content.

To tackle the challenges posed by AI-generated content, Meta intends to introduce features enabling users to disclose instances of sharing AI-generated video or audio. Additionally, Meta plans to implement penalties for non-compliance with disclosure requirements.

Acknowledging the emergence of AI platforms like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Gemini, Meta underscores the significance of addressing potential dissemination of false information, images, and videos that could influence voter perceptions during elections.

The EU parliamentary elections, scheduled from June 6 to 9, coincide with a series of major polls globally in what has been dubbed the largest election year in history. With voters in over 80 countries participating, concerns about the impact of AI-driven content on electoral processes have gained prominence.

Meta’s recent commitment aligns with the “Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections,” a coalition of 20 tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. The accord emphasizes measures to identify and counter AI-generated content aimed at misleading voters, thereby enhancing transparency and electoral integrity.

The influence of AI in political contexts has been exemplified by instances such as the use of AI-generated speeches by Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan and fake robocalls during the New Hampshire primary in the United States.

Meta’s proactive measures underscore its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of electoral processes and combatting the proliferation of deceptive content in the digital sphere.

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