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Thursday, May 25, 2023

AI and Politics

Emily A. Vogels at Pew:
About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) are familiar with ChatGPT, though relatively few have tried it themselves, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. Among those who have tried ChatGPT, a majority report it has been at least somewhat useful.

ChatGPT is an open-access online chatbot that allows users to ask questions and request content. The versatility and human-like quality of its responses have captured the attention of the media, the tech industry and some members of the public. ChatGPT surpassed 100 million monthly users within two months of its public launch in late November 2022, setting a world record as the fastest-growing web application. Due to these factors, the Center chose to ask Americans about ChatGPT specifically rather than chatbots or large language models (LLMs) more broadly.

Jim Saksa at Roll Call:

AI is already being used in politics. After President Joe Biden announced his reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee released an AI-generated video that envisioned a dystopian future wrought by his four more years in office. In the Chicago mayoral primary earlier this year, a Twitter account posing as a local news outlet posted a deepfake video impersonating candidate Paul Vallas on the eve of the election. And campaigns have used machine-learning models to guide their ad buys on social media platforms like Facebook for years now.

Right now, though, it’s the potential to use large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to update voter files, perform data analysis and program automated functions that excite political operatives the most. While well-funded Senate or gubernatorial races can afford to hire data scientists to crunch numbers, smaller campaigns rarely have that luxury, said Colin Strother, a Democratic political consultant based in Texas. AI will change that.

“I’m excited about some of the brute work that would be really great to do, but — unless you’re on a big-time campaign, with a ton of money and a ton of staff — you can’t afford to do,” Strother said.