Artificial Intelligence is Politics


            Pearl River      This is rich.  In the era of widespread and weaponized misinformation in politics, the political pros are worried about the role of artificial intelligence in current and coming campaigns.

Chew on this:

Increasingly, political consultants, election researchers and lawmakers say setting up new guardrails, such as legislation reining in synthetically generated ads, should be an urgent priority. Existing defenses, such as social media rules and services that claim to detect A.I. content, have failed to do much to slow the tide.

Aren’t political consultants and lawmakers, meaning professional politicians, the same ones that breaking all known and imaginable boundaries in exploiting disinformation in political campaigns already?  Is this a pot calling the kettle black thing?  Is this the fox asking for help in guarding the chicken house?

As for “artificial intelligence,” I know what they are referring to of course, but hasn’t the hallmark of contemporary politics been artificial intelligence for a long time now?  When is the last time any of us saw or heard an advertisement or a debate marked by real intelligence?  No matter what side of the red or blue color line you live on, tell the truth, it’s been a minute.

That being the case, we’re in big trouble.  We know full well that these so-called “existing defenses” are papier-mâché and just figments of our imagination.  Down deep, the tech folks have no real incentive to stop disinformation, because that’s what is gluing people to their platforms and letting them make their money.  The record of apologies and make-believe fixes is legion.  As Elon Musk has now proven with Twitter, all the protections and guardrails will be dropped in a hot minute if they get in the way of the money.

Are politicians any different?  You figure…

The Democratic Party experimented with fund-raising messages drafted by artificial intelligence in the spring — and found that they were often more effective at encouraging engagement and donations than copy written entirely by humans.

If AI messages are “more effective” in “engagement and donations” let’s see the hands of everyone who believes that campaign people and their bosses trying to get or stay elected won’t run to this like flies run to honey.  I don’t see anyone raising their hands.  They’ll all use this until and unless they are stopped without asking for permission and being more than happy to ask for forgiveness later to…

… shrug off accountability and claim that authentic footage of compromising actions was not real, a phenomenon known as the liar’s dividend.

All of us have been so victimized by the artificial intelligence that has characterized politics for so long, way before the techies came to the game recently, that none of us may be in any position to sort our fact from fiction.  If we’re counting on these tech bums or political scammers to tell us ahead of time or voluntarily swear off of AI in campaigns, we’re in deep, deep trouble.  This is going to end up very badly for all of us.