Microsoft, OpenAI Launches Fund to Educate Voters About AI

New fund will offer grants to educate voters about AI risks during elections

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 13, 2024

2 Min Read
Voters cast their ballots on Election Day
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft and OpenAI have launched a $2 million fund to educate voters about deceptive uses of AI ahead of election season.

The new Societal Resilience Fund will provide grants to civil societies and education groups to help voters understand the growing risk of AI and deepfakes potentially deceiving voters.

Earlier this year, New Hampshire voters were subject to fake phone calls from President Biden telling them to stay home during the state primary. The audio for that call was created using the synthetic voice platform ElevenLabs, though the startup has since implemented measures to prevent it from happening again.

Microsoft and OpenAI will now look to foster public awareness about AI, a tenant that’s part of their White House Voluntary AI Commitments. The pair will provide grants to organizations including the AARP’s Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

OATS plans to use the grant money to develop and deploy training programs for those over age 50, helping them understand basic AI concepts through in-person and virtual training sessions.

“As AI tools become part of everyday life, it is essential that older adults learn more about the risks and opportunities that are emerging,” said Tom Kamber, OATS’ executive director.

Related:Google Gemini Faces New Restrictions for Answering Election 2024 Queries

International IDEA, meanwhile, will use its grant to form training programs for Electoral Management Bodies like local and state-level election authorities to help them navigate the challenges presented by AI.

“Electoral Management Bodies, media and civil society play a critical role in protecting and preserving democratic institutions,” said Alberto Fernandez Gibaja, International IDEA’s program head for digitalization and democracy. “We look forward to working with these communities around the world to enhance their awareness and understanding of AI and how it will impact the vital work that they do.”

OpenAI and Microsoft are also providing funding to the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, which plans to develop an educational campaign on digital disclosure, and the Partnership on AI (PAI), to enhance its Synthetic Media Framework for ensuring generative AI transparency.

“In a year when 2 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,” Teresa Hutson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for fundamental technology rights, wrote in a blog post.

Related:Microsoft Blocks Police Use of OpenAI for Facial Recognition Cameras

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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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