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‘Scary’: Officials concerned for role AI can play in elections

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‘Scary’: Officials concerned for role AI can play in elections


When researchers, elections officials and artificial intelligence experts asked chatbots questions about elections, they were shocked at the responses.

The AI Democracy Projects, a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Study and Proof News, had gathered the experts to examine the accuracy and potential harmfulness and bias of AI chatbots as more people begin using them to power up their internet searches.

Its findings — that around half of the AI models’ answers were inaccurate — reinforced concerns from some officials that the growing use of artificial intelligence could lead to voter suppression.

Companies behind the chatbots say their platforms refer users to official sources for election information and that they are proceeding cautiously as AI develops. In the meantime, state and federal officials are looking for ways to regulate the platforms and their potential influence on elections.

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‘It’s scary’

As part of the AI Democracy Projects’ study, Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar saw firsthand some of the messages AI models gave when asked questions about the state’s election processes.

Models failed to mention that Nevada allows for same-day voter registration, incorrectly saying the deadline to register was weeks before an election. One AI model implied that people recently released from prison would need to go through an extensive process before regaining their voting rights, even though Nevada automatically restores voting rights upon people’s release from prison.

“When I say it’s scary, I have a very limited view of the term ‘scary,’” Aguilar told the Review-Journal. “Scary is when one person is dissuaded from voting. That’s scary.”

The information the AI models gave wasn’t always wrong, but it wasn’t totally accurate, either, and it did not paint the whole picture, Aguilar said.

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Lost in translation

When officials asked the chatbots to translate some election-related information from English to Spanish, the tone of the Spanish came out too happy and festive, Aguilar said. When translated from English to Hindi, the information came out sounding so serious that it could have scared somebody out of voting, he said.

“And Nevada being such a diverse community, the individuals and potential voters are probably going to use these systems to translate information and … these systems have to be very careful about that tone and word choice,” Aguilar said.

Making it up

Alondra Nelson, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study and former acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the AI Democracy Projects found the AI models responded sometimes with half-truths, and other times with entirely made up claims, such as a fake website that looked like a credible source, Nelson said.

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In one instance, a chatbot said that a ZIP code with a large African American population did not have a polling site, Nelson said. In another, when the researchers asked if someone could vote by text, the chatbot said yes — even though that isn’t allowed in any state, Nelson said.

The implications of that misinformation is voter suppression, Nelson said.

“No one is intending necessarily to do anything bad, but the sort of critical mass of bad information is deeply, deeply corrosive and eroding democratic processes, election processes, and the like,” Nelson said.

Using AI

There’s not a lot of data on how many people are gravitating toward AI chatbots as sources of information, but a Pew Research Center survey of 11,000 adults in 2022 found that 27 percent of Americans said they interact with AI at least several times a day; another 28 percent interact with it about once a day.

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A November 2023 poll of around 1,000 adults in the U.S. found that only 14 percent are somewhat likely to use AI to get information about the upcoming presidential election. The majority were concerned about AI increasing the spread of election misinformation, according to the UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll.

But even though some people aren’t using AI products, the foundational models of the chatbots are being built into other products, Nelson said, such as Microsoft Office Suite and Bing. If companies build upon a foundation that is rotten or shaky, then that’s a huge challenge, Nelson said.

‘Proceeding cautiously’

Artificial intelligence companies say they have made goals to curb the spread of misinformation and are training their systems to direct users to the best resources when they ask for elections-related questions.

Meta, which runs its MetaAI model, directs people to state-specific resources where users can find authoritative information, according to spokesperson Daniel Roberts.

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Anthropic, an artificial intelligence start-up, is taking steps to prevent the misuse of it AI systems, such as prohibiting political campaigning, conducting model testing against potential election abuse, and directing users to authoritative voter information, according to a spokesperson.

“Given generative AI’s novelty, we’re proceeding cautiously by restricting certain political use cases under our Acceptable Use Policy,” the Anthropic spokesperson said in a statement. Anthropic’s Claude model “is not trained frequently enough to provide real-time information about specific elections and that large language models can sometimes ‘hallucinate’ incorrect information,” a spokesperson said.

OpenAI has similar policies and prohibits people from building applications for political campaigning and lobbying with ChatGPT. It also doesn’t allow users to create chatbots that pretend to be real people, according to its elections blog to which a spokesperson directed the Review-Journal for information.

Regulating AI

Before the New Hampshire 2024 presidential primary, a robocall used artificial intelligence to mimic President Joe Biden’s voice, urging voters to not participate in the primary election and save their vote for November. The incident sparked further concerns of the influence of AI in elections and heightened the sense of urgency to implement regulations.

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The Federal Communications Commission adopted a ruling in February that makes voice cloning technology used in robocalls illegal, giving state attorneys general new tools to go after bad actors who use AI in robocalls for nefarious purposes.

Both Nevada’s state and federal officials are examining further ways to regulate artificial intelligence in specific election-related instances.

Nevada’s Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, launched the caucus’ AI policy series last month that studies the benefits and advancements of AI, as well as the challenges and its impact on Black Americans.

Through those series, Horsford and the Congressional Black Caucus will identify legislation that should be advanced.

‘More enforcement, not less’

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One bill that could help prevent misinforming voters includes the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Horsford told the Review-Journal. The legislation aims to end voting discrimination, and that could include efforts to misinform and mislead voters with AI.

“We have these new technologies, these new platforms, where we’ve already seen efforts to misinform and to push out disinformation campaigns, particularly to voters of color and to older voters,” he said. “And that’s why we need even more enforcement, not less.”

Nelson, who oversaw the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights in the White House, said Congress could send a strong signal to the Federal Elections Commission and other regulatory bodies that the existing authorities and laws they enforce also apply to AI.

Aguilar is monitoring legislation in other states, and he plans to present a package to the next legislative session regarding regulation, he said.

As the 2024 election season continues, Nevada’s secretary of state’s office will work to dispel disinformation as it arises, Aguilar said. It will also work with the state’s election integrity task force to evaluate claims. The task force includes Metro, FBI, homeland security and others that have the tools and resources to evaluate content, he said.

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“It’s not about partisan politics,” Aguilar said. “What it’s about is making sure that voters have the most accurate information to make an informed decision.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.





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Nevada

Movies and TV shows casting in Nevada

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Movies and TV shows casting in Nevada


The glitz and glam of Hollywood captures the attention of Americans starting from an early age. Beyond celebrities’ Instagram Stories and red carpet poses, there are actors out there paying their dues and honing their craft in pursuit of a sustainable career or a fulfilling sideline. Submitting to casting calls is a big part of that journey.

Whether you’re a working actor or an aspiring one, you might be curious to know which movies and TV shows are casting roles near you. Backstage compiled a list of projects casting right now in Nevada, and which roles they’re looking to fill.

Open casting calls for movie and TV productions in Nevada

‘2’

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– Project type: scripted show

– Roles:

—- Hope (lead, female, 18-31)

—- Dowan Tenant (lead, male, 25-40)

—- Lathrop (supporting, male, 19-27)

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– Average hourly rate: $100

– Casting locations: Henderson

– Learn more about the scripted show here

‘The Legend of the Black Wolf’

– Project type: scripted show

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– Roles:

—- Ally Black (lead, female, 18-28)

—- Cyrus Stryker (lead, male, 18-28)

– Average hourly rate: $75

– Casting locations: Las Vegas

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– Learn more about the scripted show here

‘Snowbound Sketches’

– Project type: short film

– Roles:

—- Female Assassin (lead, 21-35)

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—- The Maid of Honor (lead, female, 18-35)

– Average hourly rate: $62

– Casting locations: Las Vegas

– Learn more about the short film here

‘Love at Lookout Lake’

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– Project type: feature film

– Roles:

—- Sierra Bliss (lead, female, 28-36)

—- Tyler O’Malley (lead, male, 28-39)

—- Craig Watts (supporting, male, 25-45)

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– Average hourly rate: $12

– Casting locations: Las Vegas

– Learn more about the feature film here

‘Room 17’

– Project type: scripted show

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– Roles:

—- Scott Green (lead, male, 30-45)

—- Naomi (lead, female, 21-35)

—- Sean Worthington (supporting, male, 40-60)

– Average hourly rate: not available

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– Casting locations: Las Vegas

– Learn more about the scripted show here

‘The Veil’

– Project type: feature film

– Roles:

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—- Theresa (lead, female, 25-35)

—- Selena (lead, female, 22-35)

—- Sheriff Malone (supporting, male, 45-60)

– Average hourly rate: not available

– Casting locations: Las Vegas

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– Learn more about the feature film here

‘Extras for Feature Film in Las Vegas’

– Project type: feature film

– Roles:

—- Background Extras (background extra, 18-100)

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– Average hourly rate: $15

– Casting locations: Las Vegas

– Learn more about the feature film here

‘Lifestyle Interview Series’

– Project type: documentary series

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– Roles:

—- Interview Subject (content creators & real people, 18-100)

– Average hourly rate: $40

– Casting locations: Henderson, Las Vegas

– Learn more about the documentary series here

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‘Al Pacino Photo Double & Stand In, Feature Film’

– Project type: feature film

– Roles:

—- Stand in Photo Double for Al Pacino Look-a-like (lead, male, 55-65)

– Average hourly rate: $25

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– Casting locations: Las Vegas

– Learn more about the feature film here

‘Blood and Wine’

– Project type: feature film

– Roles:

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—- Riley (supporting, male, 5-10)

– Average hourly rate: $27

– Casting locations: Reno

– Learn more about the feature film here

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Nevada

The 2024 Battleground Counties: Washoe County, Nevada

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The 2024 Battleground Counties: Washoe County, Nevada


Much of the attention each presidential election cycle centers on swing states where the outcome can have an outsize impact on who wins the White House. But candidate campaigns and political analysts also zero in on smaller areas where factors like demographics and turnout can play critical roles …



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UNLV research: fewer Californians moving to Las Vegas and Nevada

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UNLV research: fewer Californians moving to Las Vegas and Nevada


LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – UNLV research shows a decline from the pandemic surge of Californians moving to Nevada.

FOX5 told you how UNLV researchers have been tracking migration trends for years, using the number of driver’s license surrenders as a metric to measure relocations.

From 2020 to 2021, record numbers of people moved from California to Nevada and Las Vegas. From 2022 to 2023, researchers noticed a decline and a further drop last year.

Californians moving to Clark County(UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research)

Professor Stephen Miller tells FOX5 that the trend is mainly tied to interest rates. Though housing is far more affordable in Las Vegas than Los Angeles, many people have either reconsidered their move or are holding off until interest rates drop once again.

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“A lot of people have a low mortgage interest rate loan. So their monthly payment is pretty low. They couldn’t match that in the current market,” Miller said.

Researchers also found that fewer “work from home” opportunities limit the options for relocation. Cities such as Austin have also noticed a considerable decline.

Moving company Muscle Movers has first-hand experience with the rise and fall of residents relocating from California.

Californians moving to Nevada
Californians moving to Nevada(UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research)

“As soon as the lockdown hit, people started bailing out of California left and right. We saw a huge boom during the lockdown for about two years and people couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” said Jeff Stelter, manager of business development. “We saw a big drop recently. This last winter was worse than the crash of 2006, 2007. It’s gotten a lot better now recently,” he said, noting that movers nationwide experienced a similar trend due to mortgage rates.

UNLV researchers also note that people are bypassing a Nevada move for other states—Texas in particular.

Muscle Movers also sees more Californians and Nevadans moving to southern states with relatively affordable real estate prices.

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“Most of the people that we move out of California are moving to Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Carolinas and Georgia. Those states above any others are where all the Californians are moving to,” Stelter said.

How many Nevadans are moving to Texas? UNLV researchers are still working to track those numbers through Census data.



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