Earlier today, president Joe Biden announced he will be running again next year. Just hours later, the Republican National Committee (RNC) fired back — with a controversial ad that features AI-generated images, The Verge reports.
The ad, titled "Beat Biden" — which asks the rhetorical question, "What if international tensions escalate?" — features deepfaked images of Taiwan being invaded by China. Other AI-generated images show shuttered banks and borders that were "overrun" by "illegals."
While a tiny disclaimer in the top left corner admits that the ad was "built entirely with AI imagery," it's easily overlooked.
The ad sets a troubling precedent, making use of the tech to illustrate wildly speculative visions of the future that could easily fool viewers who aren't not clued in.
The RNC told Axios that it's the first time the committee produced a video that is 100 percent AI.
It's unclear whether the RNC violated any terms and conditions, The Verge points out, as we don't know which tools it used to generate the images. Midjourney and DALL-E, for instance, don't allow for overtly political images to be generated.
During the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Facebook announced it was banning and removing deepfake videos over fears they could mislead viewers. But the company never clarified whether politicians can make use of AI-generated content, as The Washington Post reported earlier this month.
In short, the ad sets the stage for what could become a presidential race deeply mired in AI-facilitated misinformation tactics — a new inflection point in the already-dirty world of political ads.
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