Brazil Justice Moraes warns political candidates not to use AI against opponents

FILE PHOTO: Judge Alexandre de Moraes speaks during session of trial for the storming of government buildings in the capital Brasilia on January 8, 2023 at the Supreme Court, in Brasilia, Brazil September 14, 2023. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The head of Brazil's electoral authority Alexandre de Moraes said that candidates in upcoming municipal elections who use artificial intelligence (AI) to attack their opponents could lose their right to run or have their mandate revoked.

Moraes' comments on the risk to democracy posed by artificial intelligence carry weight.

The Brazilian Supreme Court justice was the leading force in defending Brazil's democracy from former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's election threats in the 2022 vote, turning Moraes into a global leader on electoral safeguards.

"Those candidates who disrespect the rules and use artificial intelligence negatively to harm their opponents and twist the meaning of information in order to win the elections, will face the penalty of having their registration revoked and, if they have already been elected, their mandate revoked," Moraes said on Wednesday.

The electoral authority has restricted the use of artificial intelligence in this year's municipal elections.

According to the resolution approved by the plenary of the court on Tuesday, the measure is designed to combat disinformation, fake news and manipulation in the elections taking place in October.

The session also deliberated on other rules and regulations that will be applied during the campaign period and on the day voters take to the polls.

(Reporting by Steven Grattan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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