"We intend to be making tens of thousands of calls a day by the end of the year and into the six digits pretty soon."

Political Dystopia

Though this era of artificial intelligence is in its nascent stages, it already sometimes feels like we're living in a Philip K. Dick tech dystopia, from bots that pretend to love you to bots programmed to kill you.

Now enter Ashley, which appears to be the first ever AI chatbot meant for political phone banking, according to Reuters. She can speak more than 20 languages, instantly recall her candidate's political positions, have countless conversations with constituents simultaneously, customizing her speech to their concerns and questions, and won't cry and have a nervous breakdown in the break room if an angry voter cusses her out over the phone.

Ashley recently phone banked on behalf of Pennsylvania Democrat politician Shamaine Daniels, who is running against Republican Scott Perry, a House of Representative member for the state's 10th congressional district, Reuters reports, making thousands of calls.

Ilya Mouzykantskii, the CEO of Civox which developed Ashley, is excited about how this tech will revolutionize politicking.

"This is going to scale fast," he told Reuters. "We intend to be making tens of thousands of calls a day by the end of the year and into the six digits pretty soon. This is coming for the 2024 election and it's coming in a very big way."

Bot Amok

Bots like Ashley bring up troubling questions. What's to stop candidates from using phone bank bots to spread disinformation at astonishing scale?

AI is already being used to spread misleading content, such as political operatives of presidential candidate Ron DeSantis releasing AI-generated images of Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci.

"All campaigns can use this. So in that sense, who is setting the rules of the road as the campaigns themselves, as they go?" Stanford University’s Institute for Human Centered AI policy director Russell Wald told ABC News last month. "I think we're in potentially the last days of where we have any confidence in the veracity of what we see digitally."

The other question that campaign directors should ask themselves: are these bots even effective? People who donate or have voted in elections are currently inundated with texts, emails and phone calls already. It's an epic sea of spam content.

Imagine getting a call from an AI bot in the face of all that. It's just another opportunity to hang up the phone.

More on artificial intelligence: Investing.com Accused of Using AI to Plagiarize Other Websites

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