Senate warned of AI canvassing risk
text size

Senate warned of AI canvassing risk

The Senate on Tuesday approved a report proposed by one of its committees highlighting the need for the Election Commission (EC) to rein in election campaigns using artificial intelligence (AI).

The report, prepared by the Senate committee on politics, was presented at a meeting presided over by Senate Speaker Pornpetch Wichitcholchai. It mostly touched on the use of social media in politics and election canvassing.

It was the final meeting before the Senate's term expires on May 11. However, the senators will continue working in a caretaking capacity until their successors are elected in the next few months.

The report pointed to the difficulty in regulating social media in foreign countries, the lack of education about the harm social media can cause, the limitations faced by some political parties in reaching out to voters via such platforms, the constraints that inhibit the EC from enforcing poll-related laws, and the application of an obsolete poll law in elections.

The report recommends the EC improve the election law and related regulations to keep abreast with new technology-generated tools in canvassing.

Senator Seree Suwanpanont, who chairs the report committee, said the EC must catch up with fast-changing technology to prevent online social platforms from being exploited by parties or individuals seeking to gain an unfair advantage over rivals in elections.

While the EC aims to combat vote-buying and other illegal campaign practices, including those associated with the way campaign and election posters are designed, the election law does not cover the regulation of social media as a tool for electioneering.

The senator noted that poll campaigns conducted on social media cost more than conventional canvassing, yet they have proceeded unregulated.

"When there is no control, it leads to an unfair advantage," he said.

The EC must conduct a fair election and ensure a level playing field for all sides, he said, adding the Digital Economy and Society Ministry ought to do away with distorted information, the misuse of AI and the spread of misinformation.

Senator Anuporn Aroonrut said information operations (IO) like doctored audio clips and AI will be rampant in the upcoming Senate election.

Do you like the content of this article?