POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Artificial intelligence quickly becoming a big part of the 2024 election

Jul 25, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:02 pm

Artificial intelligence 2024 election: "I voted" stickers pictured...

“I Voted” stickers are pictured at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Artificial intelligence has become a big part of 2023, with many using it for work and school. Now, it’s becoming a part of the 2024 presidential election.

There are currently no rules for using AI in politics and election campaigns. Many campaigns and Super PACs have begun to use AI in many different ways.

Most recently, Never Back Down, a PAC supporting presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis, posted a video using an AI voice imitating former President Donald Trump. The National Republican Party also created an ad using AI to recreate a possible future if President Joe Biden got re-elected in 2024.

Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, spoke to Inside Sources to break down how artificial intelligence is impacting the 2024 election and how voters can discern fact from fiction. 

What to expect from campaigns

West said that voters should expect a lot of AI-generated images during this election cycle.

“The concern we have is fake content and fake videos,” said West. Since many AI tools are prompt-driven, anyone is able to produce this type of content.

Being able to produce AI content so easily could also make reaching specific targets with specific messages easier in this cycle.

Social media platforms already allow campaigns to single out individuals according to what issues matter to them, West said. Combine that with AI-generated content and you can make ads.

“You can really figure out what are the one, two, or three issues that a person really cares about and design a specific ad for that individual,” West said.

The danger of artificial intelligence

One of the big worries with using artificial intelligence is voter misinformation. Current campaign ads have strict rules on identifying who is doing the ad. This allows voters to know if it’s an attack ad or not.

Currently, you don’t have to let the person watching the ad know you have generated a voice or an image using AI.

“That will be a big problem because its harder to trace who is running the ad, and where the content is coming from,” West said. 

The National Republican Party volunteered the fact they used AI in their campaign ad. West believes providing this information will not become a common practice.

West recommended being skeptical of information coming out of election ads.

“If something seems a little off, or not very believable, or not very plausible, it probably isn’t.”

He also recommended relying on multiple sources of media, instead of one.

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Artificial intelligence quickly becoming a big part of the 2024 election