New generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney have sparked intense debate about how this accessible wave of artificial intelligence could transform industries ranging from healthcare to education. But how will these powerful technologies shape the high-stakes world of political campaigns in the years ahead?
My interviews with US campaign strategists, tech policy experts and AI researchers reveal a mixed picture. Many anticipate revolutionary change in the long run, but some say the hype likely outweighs any truly game-changing impact in the near term given the current limitations of the technology.
Yet, all are in agreement that generative AI will amplify the problem of misinformation and disinformation already seen in past elections—and that 2024 will be the first cycle impacted by its emergence.
While how this plays out is a concern for those interviewed, what emerged as critical—but generally less talked about—are other important ways that future elections will be affected by these new technologies, for better and for worse. The potential implications for micro-targeting, campaigns and fundraising, and transparency and oversight in general are also worthy of attention and research.