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Voting & Elections


Oracle supercomputer AI glitch impacts elections in Brazil

ZDNet

Technical problems in the artificial intelligence (AI) component of a supercomputer set-up provided by Oracle prompted delays in the processing of votes during the first round of municipal elections in Brazil last weekend, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE, in the Portuguese acronym), has said. In 2020, for the first time, the TSE centralized countrywide totalization of votes on a supercomputer using database platforms with artificial intelligence technology provided by Oracle. Previously, each of the 27 regional electoral courts across all the Brazilian states counted the votes and forwarded them over to the TSE. The problems in the equipment during the elections on Sunday (15) meant the process of vote processing suffered a delay of nearly three hours. Brazil is one of the only countries in the world where the voting process is entirely electronic.


Election polls were a disaster this year. Here's how AI could help

#artificialintelligence

AI is already widely used to gauge consumer sentiment. Amazon mines huge amounts of data about search and online purchasing behavior to uncover insights about what customers buy and predict what they might want to buy in the future. Netflix bases its movie recommendations on what you've watched in the past, for how long, and how favorably you review the show. In all of those cases, consumer sentiment is being gauged not by what consumers say they want but by their actual behavior. That's a crucial difference, and one that gives AI a significant advantage over traditional polls.


2020 election: Artificial Intelligence has chosen a winner - Report Door

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence has chosen a winner for the 2020 presidential election -- but there's a catch. Hernan Makse is a statistical physicist at City University of New York who runs the Complex Networks and Data Science Lab at the Levich Institute in Manhattan. His lab uses AI to predict the outcomes of international elections using social media traffic, focusing mainly on Twitter, a platform with over 48 million monthly active users in the US. "We usually start one year from the election, and then we use that data to train the machine and predict the outcome of the election at the national level," he said in a recent interview with The Independent, noting how AI can now also be used to predict local and state election outcomes after data is organized by geolocation. "Predicting elections is, of course, quite complicated."


AI Weekly: The election

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In the United States, there was nothing else this week except for the presidential election. More people voted in this election than in any other previous U.S. presidential election -- a total of 143,518,226 votes and counting. As we close out a long, stressful week, it appears all but a formality that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the country's next President and Vice President. Meanwhile, Donald Trump rages on in a toothless effort to hang onto power. The results of the election were not the resounding referendum against white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and bigotry that many had hoped for. But at least the fears about how technology could tip the scales of this election didn't apparently come to pass -- many were concerned about numerous threats from (or enabled by) technology, from deepfakes to bots to hacking.


Facebook Tested a New A.I.-Powered Misinformation Detector Months Before the Election

#artificialintelligence

OneZero's General Intelligence is a roundup of the most important artificial intelligence and facial recognition news of the week. Months ahead of the 2020 election, Facebook revealed it had created a better way to identify bad actors on the platform. Published in August 2020, the research details a system Facebook was testing that might seem incredibly simple: Instead of just looking at an account's posting history or friend list to determine whether that account is a fake or inauthentic account, look at both the friend list and the post history. On Facebook's platform of 2.7 billion users, improving methods for finding misinformation and fake accounts by even a percentage point or two could mean thousands or millions more items flagged. Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it has put this system into use.


Artificial Intelligence Shows Potential to Gauge Voter Sentiment

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The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team. "I wouldn't fire the pollsters, but I would direct them to try to leverage machine learning, data mining and AI in their work more to get better projections," said Oren Etzioni, chief executive of the Allen Institute for AI, a nonprofit research center in Seattle. The size of this year's polling error is still unknown as the vote count continues. But polls generally predicted clear Democratic gains, not cliffhangers. No person or algorithm can predict human behavior accurately all the time, said Heidi Messer, chairman of New York-based Collective[i], which offers AI and predictive technologies for sales teams.


Artificial Intelligence Shows Potential to Gauge Voter Sentiment

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team. "I wouldn't fire the pollsters, but I would direct them to try to leverage machine learning, data mining and AI in their work more to get better projections," said Oren Etzioni, chief executive of the Allen Institute for AI, a nonprofit research center in Seattle. The size of this year's polling error is still unknown as the vote count continues. But polls generally predicted clear Democratic gains, not cliffhangers. No person or algorithm can predict human behavior accurately all the time, said Heidi Messer, chairman of New York-based Collective[i], which offers AI and predictive technologies for sales teams.


Fox News 2020 Voter Analysis Methodology Statement

FOX News

The Fox News Voter Analysis (FNVA), conducted in partnership with the Associated Press, provides a comprehensive look at voting behavior, opinions and preferences as America votes. It is based on surveys conducted in all 50 states by NORC at the University of Chicago, as well as actual voting results by county collected by The AP. The FNVA survey encompasses interviews with an estimated 140,000 registered voters and is conducted Oct. 26 to Nov. 3, and continues through the end of voting on Election Day. Both voters and nonvoters are interviewed to provide a full picture of the election, including why some Americans voted while others stayed at home. FNVA combines respondent interviews from three data sources: (1) a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files; (2) a sample of self-identified registered voters conducted using NORC's probability-based panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population; and (3) a sample of self-identified registered voters selected from nonprobability online panels.


7 Ways AI Could Solve All Of Our Election Woes: Out With The Polls, In With The AI Models

#artificialintelligence

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 31: A voter walks out of a polling station during early voting for the ... [ ] U.S. Presidential election on October 31, 2020 in Arlington, United States. With predictions of record turnout of 150 million people, representing 65% of eligible voters, we have to ask ourselves why we continue to rely on antiquated systems, paper ballots and inadequate machines to handle the most important day of our democracy. There is technology available today that can make every election day going forward safe, efficient, and most importantly, secure. If we look to AI and innovation, we can see the future of election day. No long lines, no waiting on ballots to be dumped and counted.


How Data Can Create Full-On Apparitions of the Dead

Slate

Joaquin Oliver died in the 2018 Parkland shooting, but recently, he urged people to vote in the 2020 election. Oliver's parents used A.I. to have their dead son encourage people to vote for officials who support gun control, as an extension of the nonprofit they run, Change the Ref. Technologists 3D-printed Oliver's image and created a video of him speaking out against gun violence, which his parents could take to protests around the country. In the video, Oliver's likeness says "I mean, vote for me. Parkland victim Joaquin Oliver urged people to vote in a video that used artificial intelligence to imagine what he'd look like today. Oliver was killed in 2018 in the MSD high school shooting. The video of Oliver, titled "Unfinished Vote," used deepfake technology from Lightfarm Studios. For deepfakes--images and videos generated using A.I.--of celebrities, influencers, or politicians, or more typical public figures, the production team would usually have thousands of images and videos with which to train the A.I. But in the case of a teenager who was more famous after death than during life, the technologists didn't have much material to work with. Instead, they created a single image of his face using three different photographs. Still, the video is convincing enough. The uncanny valley effect comes after the fact, once you realize that the young man in the video who is speaking to you is not actually speaking. On Thursday, shortly before Halloween and in the wake of a much derided, viral tweet exposing her immense wealth and privilege, Kim Kardashian West reacted to Kanye West's surprise gift to her: a hologram of her dead father. In an Instagram post, Kardashian West wrote, "For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime.