AI-Generated Deepfakes Muddle Reality in the 2024 Presidential Race

AI-Generated Deepfakes Muddle Reality in the 2024 Presidential Race

In the dystopian realm of American politics, the rise of AI-generated deepfakes is adding unprecedented complexity to the forthcoming 2024 Presidential race. Faux endorsement videos and vindictive diatribes, convincingly crafted by advanced AI algorithms, are inundating social media platforms, blurring the boundary between fact and fabrication.

Examples of this onslaught include a fabricated endorsement video of Hillary Clinton singing praises for Ron DeSantis, and a cruelly constructed rant from Joe Biden directed at a transgender individual. Such synthetic media isn't a novelty, but the influx of generative AI tools, such as Midjourney, have made creating convincing deepfakes easier and cheaper, spawning concerns among AI specialists and political activists.

"The battle for voter discernment will intensify. Fabricated narratives could skew perceptions and tarnish reputations," warns Darrell West, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology Innovation.

Despite efforts to curb misuse, there exist gaps in the prevention measures. OpenAI, the industry leader, has imposed restrictions on political use of its products, yet certain politicians' images can still be generated. In contrast, smaller startups lack explicit political content restrictions. Midjourney, the front-runner in AI-generated images, has plans to combat misinformation, possibly including watermarking and blocking images of political candidates.

On the other hand, some political entities are keen to harness AI for their campaigns. The Republican National Committee has already rolled out an AI-generated political ad. The enticing prospects of cost-effective, AI-generated campaign material have prompted local political activists and consulting firms to explore this technology further.

As the technology's power increases, it is clear that the delineation of real and unreal is under imminent threat. With AI increasingly infiltrating the political landscape, the race to maintain reality and integrity in the 2024 Presidential election has already begun.