U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday called for strengthened measures to counter authoritarian regimes using advanced technologies to threaten democracy.

Speaking at a multilateral forum in Seoul, Blinken said, "As authoritarian and repressive regimes deploy technologies to undermine democracy and human rights, we need to ensure that technology sustains and supports democratic values and norms."

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol who is hosting the third Summit for Democracy forum, warned that false information based on digital technologies could erode freedom and human rights.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the opening of the three-day Summit for Democracy in Seoul on March 18, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Yoon was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying at the start of the three-day summit that artificial intelligence and the innovation of digital technology are realizing "humanity's imaginations beyond the limits of time and space."

"On the other hand, disinformation and false information helped by AI and digital technology are not only violating individuals' freedom and human rights, but also threatening the democratic system," he said, according to the report.

In a video message, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa pointed out the risks of AI being used for information manipulation as it enables the generation and dissemination of "malicious narratives" that undermine democratic processes and international cooperation.

"Be it individuals or nations, stability and prosperity are founded on relationships of trust. We must counter information manipulation that creates mutual distrust and division," Kamikawa said.

The ministerial-level meeting and expert roundtable discussions held on Monday were themed on AI and other technologies.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to attend an online leaders' level meeting to be held Wednesday.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden initiated the gathering of ministers and officials from democracies as well as representatives of civil society organizations amid intensifying rivalries with China and Russia. The first Summit for Democracy forum was held virtually in December 2021.

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