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A Startling Look at How AI Will Influence Politics

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We just got a startling preview of how AI will reshape politics…

In the U.S., the 2024 presidential election season kicked off with an attack ad generated 100% by artificial intelligence.

The ad imagines a future dystopia where President Joe Biden remains in office after next year’s results.

The images, voices, and video clips are stunningly real and were created with widely available AI tools.

And they foreshadow an election season where AI can be used by all parties and actors to generate hyper-realistic synthetic content at scale.

At the same time, lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe signaled this week that they’re taking more aggressive action to regulate AI.

In the U.S, four major federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, released a joint statement on their stance towards AI companies. The agencies made it clear that they would not treat AI companies different from other firms when enforcing rules and regulations.

In Europe, the European Parliament has reached a deal to move forward on the world’s first “AI rulebook,” the Artificial Intelligence Act. This is a broad suite of regulations that will govern the use of AI within the European Union. These include safeguards against the misuse of these systems and rules that protect citizens from AI risks.

How can we prepare for—and do business within—this new political normal?

I spoke with Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer in Episode 45 of the Marketing AI Show to find out.

  1. The ad itself isn’t the issue…”The ad itself isn’t anything crazy,” says Roetzer. There wasn’t some breakthrough to make this all possible. It was created with off-the-shelf AI that exists today. And that’s precisely the issue.
  2. The issue is that AI can now create synthetic content at scale. This isn’t a new capability. And propaganda isn’t a new issue, says Roetzer. But we’ve never before had the ability to create fake content at this level of realism or scale. And this is just the beginning.
  3. Expect AI to be used in every campaign moving forward to create fake content. “The most advanced technology is going to be used in these campaigns,” says Roetzer. This is just the beginning.
  4. And the general public is going to suffer the consequences. “My biggest concern is that the average US citizen has no idea AI can do this,” says Roetzer. Many will not know that highly realistic content can be faked. “I feel like we’re about to see the best and worst of what AI can do all at once for the next 16 or 17 months,” he says.
  5. Don’t expect lawmakers to step in... Nobody is going to seriously regulate the use of AI in political campaigns because the people who have the power to regulate it will be the ones using it to get elected, says Roetzer. These tools can be used by anyone to create nearly endless amounts of fake content, including the army of people working on campaigns.
  6. And don’t expect overall regulations to keep up. In the United States, the joint statement from the four federal agencies is still largely cosmetic, says Roetzer. “It is this sort of broad general statement that doesn’t actually appear to have anything tactical behind it.”

The bottom line: We’re about to experience a political train wreck when it comes to AI-generated fake content at scale—and it will be on us to figure out what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Don’t get left behind…

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