How could ChatGPT and artificial intelligence change politics?

Desert News
March 15, 2023

So much of political rhetoric and marketing copy is platitudes and bumper sticker slogans, making it a potentially ripe industry to be disrupted by artificial intelligence. But should voters be worried?

“I think it’s useful to think of ChatGPT and generative AI in general as a cliché generator,” or “autocomplete on your phone if it was scaled 10,000 times,” said David Karpf of ChatGPT, a chatbot that answers user questions and follows prompts that was released last November.

“Most of what we do in politics is also cliché generation,” said Karpf, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, during an online panel on AI in politics with the Project on Ethics in Political Communication on Friday. “We send out during election season thousands of thousands of emails and we A/B test those within an inch of our lives.”

Generative AI has the potential to take over the task of churning out banalities for political professionals, writing text for everything from fundraising emails and text messages to social media posts and speech scripts. But not so fast, Karpf said. Campaigns and consultants don’t want to be caught making the first error because the risk factor and potential reputational downside is so high if they get it wrong, he said.

“You don’t want to become famous as the political consultant or the political campaign that blew it because you decided that you could have a generative AI do this for you,” he said.

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