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AI could fuel anti-Semitism – UNESCO

Artificial intelligence technology risks promoting Holocaust denial, a new study has found

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology could cause a surge in false narratives about World War II atrocities including Holocaust denial, the UN education and culture body UNESCO has warned. 

According to its report published in partnership with the World Jewish Congress on Tuesday, the generation of fake content, such as deep fakes and misinformation, could undermine the authenticity of historical evidence and spread anti-Semitic ideologies.

The study pointed to the widespread use of AI for assistance in education, research and writing, which it said could result in an increased likelihood of unreliable data.

Deep-fake images and audio content created using Generative AI are particularly convincing for young people, who may encounter them on social-media platforms, the report cautioned.

With four in five young people between the ages of 10 and 24 now using AI several times a day for education, entertainment and other purposes, “action to ethically guide these new technologies must be taken quickly.” 

The report used the Historical Figures App as an example. This reportedly allowed users to chat with prominent Nazis such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, and falsely claimed that individuals such as Goebbels were not intentionally involved in the Holocaust and had tried to prevent violence against Jews.

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The report also said that ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have both produced content detailing Holocaust-related events that never took place.

“If we allow the horrific facts of the Holocaust to be diluted, distorted or falsified through the irresponsible use of AI, we risk the explosive spread of anti-Semitism…” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

UNESCO has called on governments to accelerate the implementation of the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, which was unanimously adopted by its member states in 2021.

The UN agency has also urged tech companies to establish ethical rules for the development and use of AI in an effort to reduce the chances of unreliable information being generated and to prevent bad actors from spreading misinformation.

June 19, 2024 at 09:04PM

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