The Potential Threat of AI Language Models in Influence Operations

As generative language models continue to improve, they offer numerous possibilities in various fields like healthcare, law, education, and science. However, it is important to consider their potential for misuse, just like any new technology. With recurring online influence operations, which involve covert and deceptive efforts to sway the opinions of a target audience, it is necessary to address the following questions: How might language models impact influence operations? And what can be done to minimize this threat?

This research project involved a collaboration of experts from different backgrounds. On one hand, there were researchers who possessed a deep understanding of the tactics, techniques, and procedures behind online disinformation campaigns. On the other hand, there were machine learning experts specializing in generative artificial intelligence. By combining these areas of expertise, our analysis was able to identify trends in both domains.

We strongly believe that it is crucial to analyze the potential risks associated with AI-enabled influence operations. It is important to identify and implement precautionary measures even before language models are widely used for such operations. Our hope is that this research will provide valuable insights to policymakers who may be new to the AI or disinformation fields. Moreover, we wish this will inspire further research into effective strategies for mitigating the risks associated with AI development, policymaking, and disinformation research.

**The Significance of AI-Enabled Influence Operations**
AI-powered influence operations have the potential to greatly impact various industries such as healthcare, law, education, and science. However, it is important to assess the risks and challenges they pose.

**Understanding Online Disinformation Campaigns**
In order to evaluate the threat of AI-enabled influence operations, a comprehensive understanding of online disinformation campaigns is essential. Analyzing the tactics, techniques, and procedures employed in such campaigns helps identify potential vulnerabilities.

**Mitigating the Risks**
To safeguard against the potential misuse of language models in influence operations, it is crucial to take proactive measures. Policymakers, AI developers, and disinformation researchers should collaborate to develop effective mitigation strategies. This research aims to provide insights and initiate further investigation into minimizing the risks associated with AI-enabled influence operations.

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