Microsoft Launches Budget-Friendly AI as Deepfake Concerns Grow in India's Elections

Microsoft unveils compact AI model Phi-3-mini to make AI more accessible, but concerns grow over deepfake misuse in India's 2024 elections, as the government works on a regulatory framework to harness AI's benefits while mitigating risks.

Dil Bar Irshad
Updated On
New Update
Microsoft Launches Budget-Friendly AI as Deepfake Concerns Grow in India's Elections

Microsoft Launches Budget-Friendly AI as Deepfake Concerns Grow in India's Elections

Microsoft has unveiled a new compact AI model called Phi-3-mini, designed to make artificial intelligence more accessible and affordable for businesses with limited resources. The launch comes amid growing concerns over the potential misuse of deepfake technology in India's ongoing general election.

Phi-3-mini, part of Microsoft's Phi-3 family of smaller AI models, offers capabilities similar to larger language models like GPT-3.5 while consuming less data and computational power. This allows the model to run on personal devices such as smartphones without requiring a constant internet connection, making it an attractive option for companies looking to integrate AI into their products and services at a lower cost.

However, the increased accessibility of AI technology has also raised alarms about its potential for abuse, particularly in the form of deepfakes. In recent weeks, viral videos featuring Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and endorsing the opposition Congress party have circulated widely on social media. Both actors have confirmed the videos to be fake, with fact-checkers verifying them as AI-generated manipulations.

Why this matters: The spread of these deepfakes highlights the challenges India faces in combating the misuse of AI technology in its massive election, which involves over 900 million internet users and nearly 1 billion voters. As AI becomes more accessible and affordable, the risk of its exploitation for political manipulation and misinformation campaigns grows, threatening to undermine public trust and the integrity of the democratic process.

The Indian government is working on a robust regulatory framework to address the dangers posed by deepfakes and other AI-generated synthetic media. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that a draft framework has been created, with public consultations set to begin once the new government is formed in June 2024. The aim is to harness AI for economic growth while establishing necessary guardrails to mitigate potential risks and harms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concerns about the misuse of deepfakes in a democratic country like India. "The potential harm that can be caused by the misuse of deepfakes in a democratic setup is immense," Modi said, emphasizing the need for robust guidelines to address this issue.

As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections unfold, the battle against AI-generated misinformation is expected to intensify. The Election Commission of India is grappling with the challenges posed by deepfakes as it prepares for the country's first general election in which artificial intelligence is poised to play a significant role. Social media giants like Meta and Google have pledged to identify and remove manipulated content from their platforms, but the lack of clear regulations and the rapid advancement of AI technology complicate efforts to curb the spread of deepfakes.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft unveils compact AI model Phi-3-mini for affordable business use.
  • Deepfake videos of Bollywood actors criticizing PM Modi raise concerns in India.
  • India drafting regulatory framework to harness AI while mitigating deepfake risks.
  • PM Modi emphasizes need for robust guidelines to address deepfake misuse.
  • 2024 Indian elections to see significant role of AI, posing challenges for authorities.