Microsoft and OpenAI to combat deceptive AI content with $2 million fund ahead of US election

Microsoft and OpenAI to combat deceptive AI content with $2 million fund ahead of US election

Unsplash/Louis Velazquez

The Societal Resilience Fund will provide education to increase understanding of AI among vulnerable communities and those of voting age

Laura Hyde |

Microsoft and OpenAI have launched the Societal Resilience Fund, which aims to increase understanding and literacy through education on artificial intelligence among vulnerable communities and those of voting age in the run up to the US election in November 2024. 

The $2 million fund will provide grants to a number of organisations, including Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and Partnership on AI (PAI). 

“In a year when two billion people across the globe will vote in democratic elections, it is more important than ever to provide tools and information that will help people navigate an increasingly complex digital ecosystem and find authoritative resources,” said Teresa Hutson, corporate vice president of technology for fundamental rights at Microsoft, in a blog post. “The Societal Resilience Fund is a joint effort that follows through on public commitments that Microsoft and OpenAI have made via the White House Voluntary Commitments, and the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in the 2024 Elections. We have committed to engage with a diverse set of global civil society organisations and academics, and committed to support efforts to foster public awareness and all-of-society resilience. Our shared goals are to combat the growing risk of bad actors using AI and deepfakes to deceive the voters and undermine democracy.” 

For example, OATS from AARP plans to use its grant to develop and deploy a training programme focused on educating the over 50s on the foundational aspects of AI. It will include in-person and virtual training and access to guides designed specifically to educate older Americans on the fast-changing and AI-enhanced world. 

“As AI tools become part of everyday life, it is essential that older adults learn more about the risks and opportunities that are emerging, both to enhance their lives with new technology, and to protect themselves against its misuse,” said Tom Kamber, executive director of OATS from AARP. 

C2PA’s educational campaign will aim to provide clarity and awareness of the current landscape of digital disclosure methods and best practices, while International IDEA will conduct global training to help foster public awareness, with a focus on empowering Electoral Management Bodies, civil society, and media actors through training and dialogue. 

Meanwhile, PAI plans to build on its Synthetic Media Framework, which was established to provide transparency about generative AI to audiences and to set best practice guardrails for safe and responsible AI development, as well as widen the diversity of voices charting the future of AI innovation. 

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