Former Secretary of Homeland Security warns of the danger AI poses to democracy

The robot works with a laptopEd. remark: Welcome to our daily column, Quote of the Day.

We currently live in a climate where we are highly vulnerable to some form of artificial intelligence attack on our democracy, given the advent of AI and given the fragile nature of our democracy.

Our nation, our democracy, is highly vulnerable to some form of cyberattack that could change the vote or turnout in key districts in these few states. False reporting and microtargeting about the time, place and method of voting in a particular district could change the outcome in a key swing state. AI only worsens that threat. The threat is now more serious. Generative AI and deepfakes are part of a larger threat to micro-targeted voters.

– Jeh Johnson, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who now serves as a partner with Paul, Weiss, in remarks at the New York City Bar Association’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, on the dangers that artificial intelligence could pose in the coming 2024 elections. Johnson went on to say that while there may not be a “silver bullet” to solve this problem, he believes lawyers can help. “Maybe we should make a CLE requirement that lawyers teach a high school class about our Constitution, about the separation of powers, about the rule of law,” he said. “I believe that lawyers have a special responsibility to our democracy in that regard.”

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she has worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so feel free to email her if you have any tips, questions, comments or criticisms. You can follow her X/Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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