In October 2019, Idaho proposed changing its Medicaid program. The state needed approval from the federal government, which solicited public feedback via Medicaid.gov.
Roughly 1,000 comments arrived. But half came not from concerned citizens or even Internet trolls. They were generated by artificial intelligence. And a study found that people could not distinguish the real comments from the fake ones.
The project was the work of Max Weiss, a tech-savvy medical student at Harvard, but it received little attention at the time. Now, with AI language systems advancing rapidly, some say the government and Internet companies need to rethink how they solicit and screen feedback to guard against deepfake text manipulation and other AI-powered interference.