The 2024 US presidential election is shaping up to be a watershed moment for the role of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in political campaigns. With advances in AI technology, we can expect to see more political messaging that is faster and more targeted than ever before. This article will explore the potential impact of generative AI on the upcoming election, including the use of AI-generated campaigns, deepfakes, and data analytics.
AI-Generated Campaigns: Flexibility, Cost-Efficiency, & Velocity
Generative AI tools offer political parties and candidates numerous advantages, including predictive analysis, automated outreach, and personalized advertising. With the flexibility, cost-efficiency, and velocity of AI-generated content, we can expect political parties to harness this technology to create influential campaign materials. Companies such as Google and Meta are already developing text-to-video generative AI tools, which will allow political campaigns to create videos of candidates saying whatever they want.
However, the use of AI-generated content in political campaigns raises concerns about the spread of misinformation and how voters will react to artificially generated content. If these tools can manipulate and deceive people on a large scale, they can have devastating consequences for national security and election security. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke has introduced legislation to regulate AI in political advertisements, which could help prevent the spread of misinformation.
Deepfakes: The Potential Use of Satire, Sarcasm, and Propaganda
Deepfakes are a digital representation made from AI that fabricates realistic-looking images and sounds. While deepfakes of political figures have emerged in recent years, they are becoming more convincing and easier to produce as generative AI technology advances. Companies like HeyGen Ai and um a bit off topic, NSFW Ai, are also developing deepfake generative AI tools, which will allow political campaigns to criticize competitors using satire, sarcasm, and propaganda.
If we start to see a significant number of deepfakes spreading during the election, it’s easy to imagine someone like Donald Trump sharing this kind of content on social media and claiming it’s real. A deepfake of President Biden saying something disqualifying could come out shortly before the election, and many people might never find out it was AI-generated. Research has consistently shown that fake news spreads further than real news, so deepfakes could have a significant impact on the election.
Data Analytics: Targeting Specific Voter Segments
Data analytics played a significant role in the 2012 and 2016 US election campaigns, with Obama’s team using AI and big data to innovate voter targeting and Trump’s team using it to identify specific voter segments and tailor outreach strategies. In the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election, we can expect data analytics to play an even more significant role.
Using microdata from commercial data brokers who have detailed information on people’s reading, viewing, purchasing, and political behavior, political campaigns will be able to fine-tune their targeting, reach those who have not yet made up their minds, and give them the exact message that will help them reach their final decisions. By analyzing this material in real-time, AI will enable political campaigns to go after specific voting blocs with appeals that nudge them around particular policies and partisan opinions.
Democratizing Disinformation: Anyone Can Become a Political Content Creator
Generative AI is likely to democratize disinformation by bringing sophisticated tools to the average person interested in promoting their preferred candidates. People no longer need to be coding experts or video wizards to generate text, images, video, or programs. They don’t necessarily have to work for a troll farm to create havoc with the opposition. They can simply use advanced technologies to spread the messages they want.
With emotions running intensely in a high-stakes election, many voters may have incentives to spread false information designed to undermine the opposition. If someone can create noise, build uncertainty, or develop false narratives, that could be an effective way to sway voters and win the race. Since the 2024 presidential election may come down to tens of thousands of voters in a few states, anything that can nudge people in one direction or another could end up being decisive.
The Need for Regulation: Protecting National Security and Election Security
The use of generative AI tools in political campaigns raises concerns about the spread of misinformation and how voters will react to artificially generated content.
Other solutions involve cryptographic signing, fingerprinting, and watermarking images and videos. Cryptographic signing would allow people producing legitimate videos to show that they are, in fact, legitimate. Fingerprinting involves taking hashes from content, which are essentially just strings of its data, so it can be verified as legitimate later on. Watermarking involves inserting a digital watermark on images and videos.
The Future of AI in Political Campaigns
While AI-generated content and deepfakes could have a significant impact on the 2024 US presidential election, the future of AI in political campaigns is still unclear. Some campaigns may be slow to adopt new technology, while others may embrace it. However, we can expect to see more AI-driven data analytics, which can help campaigns identify specific voter segments and tailor outreach strategies.
At the end of the day, it will be up to voters to decipher what is AI-generated or not. With the well-poisoned with the idea that anything could be fake, it is important that voters remain vigilant and informed about the sources of the information they receive.
Final Thoughts – AI-Generated Content Will Play a Major Role in the 2024 Election
In conclusion, generative AI tools will feature prominently in the 2024 US presidential election, offering political parties and candidates numerous advantages, including predictive analysis, automated outreach, and personalized advertising. However, the use of AI-generated content in political campaigns raises concerns about the spread of misinformation and how voters will react to artificially generated content. While solutions such as cryptographic signing, fingerprinting, and watermarking can help prevent the spread of misinformation, it will ultimately be up to voters to remain vigilant and informed about the sources of the information they receive.
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