When generative AI exploded on the scene in late 2022, we saw it as an opportunity to supercharge our existing political campaign tools. We already had campaign letter, email, and press release generators. But they were kind of old-school and created copy based on user input and automated templates.

AI offered a way to enhance the process of generating content ideas and suggestions. Whether candidates were drafting social media posts, email newsletters, or website content, AI could be a useful tool.

Tools like those could help candidates effectively communicate their message.

So we built them. We put together a suite of political AI-enhanced tools that, for the most part, would assist candidates in drafting, evaluating, and editing content. Many local candidates are hard-pressed for time, so our tools try to address those pain points.

AI can provide valuable content creation assistance. But the final responsibility for writing remains with the candidate and the campaign organization. AI should be seen as a tool to augment their skills and positions rather than a substitute for their authentic voice and ideas.

AI and Deepfakes

The rise of deepfakes and manipulated content is a growing concern. It’s hard enough to believe what politicians may say, but adding a mix of manipulated and fake material into the political discourse can only make things worse.

  • Images: AI-generated images can be realistic but raise authenticity concerns. Misuse can spread misinformation and manipulate public perception.
  • Video: Deepfake videos convincingly manipulate faces and statements. They can spread false information and damage reputations.
  • Audio: AI can synthesize realistic speech, but this technology enables deceptive audio content.

While deepfakes pose significant risks, researchers are working on developing detection tools to combat them. It is crucial for individuals, media organizations, and social platforms to be vigilant, employ fact-checking measures, and invest in deepfake identification technologies.

Concerns about the rise of machines

There’s a lot of concern about AI and politics these days. But AI isn’t a new thing. In fact, artificial intelligence is already embedded in our lives.

  • It’s integrated into online services like search engines, social media, and streaming platforms.
  • Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa rely on AI for voice recognition and personalized responses.
  • AI detects and prevents fraud in banking transactions and on online platforms.
  • AI aids in healthcare diagnostics and treatment planning.
  • Smart home devices use AI to adapt to our personal preferences and lower home energy consumption.
  • AI offers personalized product recommendations when you shop online.
  • AI creates image filters and other effects for social media.

While AI has already made an impact in our lives, the potential for misuse in political campaigns requires responsible implementation. There are serious issues concerning data privacy and the ethical use of AI technology.

In light of the risk of abuse, we have been careful about what our tools do and how they work. We prioritize maintaining responsible control over their output, and have decided not to include video or audio AI tools in our suite. Nor do we allow the potential use of personal information or large datasets within the platform.

By addressing concerns and placing a strong emphasis on responsible implementation, we hope to ensure that AI serves as a positive, valuable tool in political campaigns.

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