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NUPI Researcher to Lead Expert Group

Niels Nagelhus Schia is set to lead an expert group that will examine how artificial intelligence can influence democratic elections.

Research professor Niels Nagelhus Schia from NUPI has been asked to lead the expert group. 

Foto: Therese Leine/NUPI

2024 is a historic election year. Never before have so many voters around the world gone to the polls. This includes elections in the USA and to the European Parliament. At the same time, we are in the midst of rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI), which could increase the extent of disinformation and unwanted influence during elections.

Advice for the Parliamentary Election

Therefore, the government has established a fast-working expert group, which will map out experiences from some of the 2024 elections and provide recommendations on how Norway can prepare for the parliamentary election in 2025.

The group will be led by Niels Nagelhus Schia, who is a research professor and head of NUPI's Research Centre on New Technology.

"Trust in our elections is absolutely crucial for our democracy. That is why we want to learn from this year's elections around the world to identify both the opportunities and vulnerabilities in our own democracy. I believe it is very important that we now actively seek knowledge about how AI can influence the conduct of safe and sound elections in Norway," says Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Erling Sande, in a press release.

NUPI researcher Niels Nagelhus Schia and the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Erling Sande. 

Foto: Therese Leine/NUPI

Exposing Vulnerabilities

"I look forward to exploring the deep implications AI can have on our democratic processes. We want to better understand how AI can both strengthen and challenge democratic elections. We will provide recommendations that can contribute to ensure that the democratic institutions in Norway will remain robust," states Nagelhus Schia.

Generative AI has increased significantly in recent years. It can produce text, sound, images, and video that can appear as real content, and it is challenging for voters to to distinguish between what is created by humans and what is created by AI.

"I hope and believe the expert group will contribute to us gaining more knowledge about the vulnerabilities we face, and how technology can affect Norwegian elections in the future," says the minister.

The expert group consists of:

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
  • Bente Kalsnes (Kristiania University College)
  • Lars Raaum (Media Enterprises Association)
  • Helle Sjøvaag (University of Stavanger)
  • Heidrun Åm (NTNU)
  • Julie Ødegaard Borge (NLA University College Bergen)
  • Rune Karlsen (University of Oslo)
  • Anne Sofie Molandsveen (NORCAP – Norwegian Refugee Council)

They aim to deliver their work by December 31, 2024.