In the space of less than a decade, the world of social media has gone from being an enabler of to a threat to democracy, argues Brookings analyst Elaine Kamarck. While the internet can still mobilize large numbers of people to political action, it can also spew false information about candidates, suppress the vote, and affect the voter rolls and the election machinery of the state. By 2016, social media had become a weapon against democracy as opposed to a tool for democracy. Unless we are vigilant, the new world of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to be an even more dangerous weapon in the years ahead.
Her analysis is part of “A Blueprint for the Future of AI,” a series from the Brookings Institution that analyzes the new challenges and potential policy solutions introduced by artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.