Saturday, June 3, 2023
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GOP Sen. Warns of New Weapon Communist China Is Using against U.S.

'The threat of disinformation, weaponizing information against the United States and our allies to divide us, divide our citizens, is on the rise...'

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., raised an alarm about a new artificial intelligence weapon the Chinese Communist Party is using against the United States, the Daily Wire reported.

He said China is using AI create to digitally manipulated photos and videos known as “deep fakes,” which can alter the voices and images depicted in the selected content, making it appear authentic in the eye of its viewer. 

“The threat of disinformation, weaponizing information against the United States and our allies to divide us—divide our citizens—is on the rise,” Ricketts warned at a Foreign Relations subcommittee this week.

“It’s especially so because we all have access to [smart phones] now, so citizens and policymakers all have access to that through social media or other sorts of platforms,” he continued. “But the idea that our adversaries would try to use disinformation to devise is not new.”

The freshman senator added that the Soviet Union spent millions on disinformation campaigns during the Cold War. This was part of their concentrated efforts to destabilize the United States and its allies at the time. 

“And I believe that in 1980, for example, there was a conservative estimate, the Soviet Union spent $3 billion on disinformation campaigns as part of their overall strategy,” Ricketts said.

Moreover, he noted that the Soviet Union’s disinformation campaigns surpassed those of the U.S. on a scale of 10 to 1.

“And they’ve been developing for a long time now something called ‘deep fake’ technology, and it has progressed along to the point where they’ve been able to use AI to distort public figures,” Ricketts continued. “An example of how a public figure might be distorted is when [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy was portrayed as announcing a surrender last year.”

Ricketts warned that the “deep fake” programs not only were able to alter existing photos but also to invent new people.

“So we’ve got this deep fake video technology that can create fictitious people,” he said. “They can be used to really further cloud people’s ability to discern what’s real information, what’s not real information.”

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