Maybe he's just really shy?
Ask AI Suarez
With AI in the mix, the 2024 presidential race keeps getting weirder.
SOS America PAC, a Super PAC backing "Bitcoin mayor" Francis Suarez's 2024 presidential bid, just released a tool called "Ask AI Suarez," a realistic, AI-powered avatar of the candidate designed to answer questions about the current Miami mayor and his campaign.
"Hi, I'm AI Francis Suarez," the bot says as it introduces itself. "You've probably heard that my namesake, conservative Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, is running for president. I'm here to answer questions you may have about Mayor Suarez's proven agenda for economic prosperity, cutting spending and supporting our police."
"So," it continues, "how can I help?"
Though a spokesperson for Suarez's campaign told The Miami Herald that the official campaign confusingly has "nothing to do" with AI Suarez or "whatever the PAC does," Suarez and the funding body have deep financial ties.
And in any case, a deep-pocketed campaign spender deploying a lifeless deepfake of a presidential candidate to interface with citizens feels deeply dystopian — not to mention a strange, cheap, and arguably lazy replacement for the real deal.
Like other AI deepfakes, the bot's attempt at realism, from its tinny voice to its waxy expression, is just inhuman enough to be deeply unsettling. The format itself — which requires users to speak to their computers like they're trying to talk to their Amazon remotes — is tedious, to say the least.
On top of that, it's unclear why it even needs to exist. All of its answers are pre-recorded, and the AI bot simply chooses which of those pre-recorded prompts best suits the query. And more often than not, the provided responses don't even do that.
Case in point, when asked about hot-button conservative topics like access to abortion, for example, the bot replied with scripted monologues. But when asked about topics like environmental policy, healthcare, and Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine, AI Suarez launches into an unrelated spiel about Joe Biden's failures, protecting police officers, and China.
In short, it's bizarre, unnecessary, and really just unhelpful.
It's yet another example of how burgeoning generative AI technologies, which in the US have already been used in multiple political ads related to the 2024 campaign, continue to make their way into the political sphere.
And unfortunately, this might not be the last we see of AI Suarez, with a spokesperson for the PAC telling Fox News that the AI will be used as a "campaign surrogate" that might one day even do media interviews — and if that doesn't raise all kinds of red flags, we don't know what will.
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