The Republican National Committee (RNC) has released a video showcasing an apocalyptic scenario of a second term for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, generated entirely by artificial intelligence (AI). This marks a significant shift in the use of computer-generated content in political campaigns, which could have far-reaching consequences.
The video depicts AI-generated images of Biden and Harris winning the election, followed by scenes of explosions in Taiwan, police in tactical gear lining the streets of San Francisco, migrants flooding the southern border, and Wall Street buildings abandoned. Predictive newscasts narrate in the background, adding to the ominous atmosphere. The RNC spokesperson confirmed that the video was entirely produced using AI. The Democrats and Republicans plan to use AI during the 2024 election cycle to streamline operations, but the software’s malicious use can deceive voters and campaign staffers.
In response, the Democratic National Committee Executive Director, Sam Cornale, suggested that the RNC’s use of AI was an act of desperation.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel called Biden “so out of touch” and warned that if he was reelected, inflation would skyrocket, crime rates would rise, fentanyl would cross open borders, and American families would be worse off.
Recent months have seen campaigns testing chatbots to generate written content using AI, including statements from candidates, ads, and emails. However, concerns have been raised that the software could deceive voters by posing as candidates or voters, providing false information to campaigns. In addition, AI-generated parodies of political figures have gone viral in recent months, with fake images of Trump and Obama being widely shared on social media.
AI-generated content has entered a new era of legitimacy, but deepfake videos, audios, and images have been around for years. For example, in 2018, a fake video of former President Barack Obama calling Trump a “total and complete dipshit” circulated widely.
The use of AI in political campaigns can streamline operations. Still, it can also be used maliciously to deceive voters, and it is crucial to distinguish between legitimate and malicious use of AI-generated content.