It’s an election year in the US, which means you can expect a fresh tsunami of campaign ads in your feeds, in your inbox, and jammed in front of YouTube videos. This is also the first election of the AI era, where anyone can generate just about anything—an image, a Twitter bot, a speech—by typing a few lines of text into a prompt. Whether it’s bad actors generating misleading deepfakes or candidates using text generators to write cringey campaign emails, AI is now firmly part of the election process.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior politics writer Makenna Kelly joins us en route from the Iowa caucus to talk about how scammers and political campaigns alike are using AI to influence voters at the polls.

Show Notes

Read more from Makena about the Iowa caucus and the end of Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign. Scroll through her TikToks about the caucus. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of the 2024 election and artificial intelligence.


Makena recommends Uniqlo under layers. Mike recommends the cringey Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone show The Curse. Lauren recommends the show Catastrophe.

Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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Note: This is an automated transcript, which may contain errors.

Lauren Goode: Mike.

Michael Calore: Lauren.

Lauren Goode: Are you ready for 2024?

Michael Calore: Aren’t we already in 2024?

Lauren Goode: No, no, no. I mean the event of 2024, the US presidential election?

Michael Calore: Oh God. No, I’m not ready. Do I have a choice?

Lauren Goode: No pun intended. Choice?

Michael Calore: OK. See what you did there?

Lauren Goode: Yeah. No, you really don’t have one. We are barreling towards November 2024, and not to bring everything on this show back to artificial intelligence, but I think it’s safe to say that that is going to play a role in this year’s election.

Michael Calore: Oh, gosh. I am afraid.

Lauren Goode: Yep. We should talk about it.

Michael Calore: OK, let’s do it.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]

Lauren Goode: Let’s do it. Hi everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I’m Lauren Goode. I’m a senior writer at WIRED.

Michael Calore: And I’m Michael Calore. I’m the Director of Consumer Tech and Culture at WIRED.

Lauren Goode: Oh, your new title.

Michael Calore: Yeah, fancy new title. I’m going to have to get used to saying that.

Lauren Goode: We are also joined this week by WIRED senior politics writer, Makena Kelly. Welcome to the show for the first time, Makena.

Makena Kelly: Hey, it’s good to be here. And what a time to join after the first caucus this week.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, right now you are joining us from a safe space in the Atlanta Airport.

Makena Kelly: Yes.

Lauren Goode: Thank you for making the effort to join us while you’re in transit.

Makena Kelly: No, honestly, I’m playing with some new lactation room apps. It’s actually wildly techy, more techy than I was expecting to find a room to do this in.

Lauren Goode: Maybe we should just make the show about your review of that, the Mamava pods, but we should probably talk about Iowa too. OK. So since everyone got their feel of gadgets on last week’s CES episode of Gadget Lab, this week we’re headed back to reality. It’s time to talk about politics. OK. So before you turn off this podcast because you’re sick of hearing about politics, you really should stick around because we’re going to give you some of the most clear-cut information you can get on how exactly AI is going to play a role in this year’s election. I think you’re going to walk away from this podcast smarter, more informed, and probably slightly dismayed.

So this year is an election year in the US. Just this week was the Iowa caucus where surprise, surprise, former President, Donald Trump won the nomination for the Republican nominee for President. Let’s talk about that first, and then we’re going to come back to AI after that. Makena, you’re deep in election coverage already. How are you holding up?

Makena Kelly: Well, that’s a really good question. I spent all of last night in Iowa running around events. I think I got up and out the door on the road at 7:00 A.M., and then I was out of a Vivek event, and then I went to a Don Jr. event and Don Jr. didn’t show. And anyways, this all culminated into the votes happening, and I have not slept for 32 hours at this point. So I’m very excited to get home.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, we’re excited for you to get a nap on that flight home and hopefully a deep night’s sleep after that. For people who don’t know, quickly, how exactly does the Iowa caucus work?

Makena Kelly: Right, so it’s not different from any other primary in each state. Iowa, of course, is the first. The Democratic Party is trying to change that and bring that to South Carolina now for them, but in Iowa, for Republican caucus, essentially what happens is people in these precincts, kind of like districts, they show up to their precincts with all of the people in their communities. And unlike the Democratic caucus in Iowa, the Republicans cast these secret ballots after having what I heard from talking to voters last night, very cordial conversations with one another, and they file their ballots, the ballots are counted, and then the precinct is decided for whatever candidate gets the most votes.

Michael Calore: So what sort of demographic representation are there at the caucuses? Because it seems like when people go to the ballot box or when people show up to have these discussions, it might be two different types of people we’re talking about.

Makena Kelly: Sure. When I was traveling around this week, I think we have this idea in our head of what an early voter, a caucus voter, an early primary voter looks like, and it’s typically maybe an older person, someone over 50 who has maybe been engaged in the political process a little bit longer than others. But I also did run into a lot of young people as well, many people who are out caucusing for the first time, even if they just hadn’t turned 17, 18. And some people I talked to had caucused for the first time, and I think they were 34. So people were coming out from all over for this one, and I think it’s just because of the candidates. But yeah, we can get to that.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, you’ve been TikToking and Threading a lot over the past few days, and it seems like a lot of the constituents you saw there in Iowa are in fact pretty young. And it seems like the Republican Party has done a good job of galvanizing young voters. These also tend to be pretty tech-savvy voters. Do you have a sense of how many of the folks you talk to, if any of them consider tech policy to be an important part of this election cycle?

Makena Kelly: Sure. So I might have a poor view of the entire party. I spent a lot of my time the past couple of days tracking Vivek Ramaswamy, who famously, Chris Christie called a man who sounds like ChatGPT in the August debate. So yes, there were a bunch of tech-savvy kids there. I talked to some kids who were 17, 21, people in college, young parents. And when you talk about tech-savvy for them, I don’t know if they’re necessarily thinking about AI every waking moment of the day, but they are excited about people like Vivek and other candidates who are reaching them through the types of media that they consume, whether that be TikTok or Instagram and other social media platforms.

Michael Calore: So in the past few elections, obviously Twitter and Facebook have played an outsized role in not only candidates having discussions with people online, but also outreach and campaigning happening on those platforms. Are those platforms still powerful tools or are things like TikTok and even Instagram Threads also making a play this year?

Makena Kelly: OK, so maybe I’m biased, but my whole, I don’t know, magnum opus, what I’m following this year is really this fragmentation that we’re seeing on social media and how that is affecting the democratic process. With Elon Musk buying X, Twitter, whatever, I’m calling it Twitter, and turning that into increasingly a right wing cesspool, and then TikTok of course, becoming really popular, not just with the young people who are engaging with it every day, you’re seeing a lot of Democrats on there. I know Bernie was popular in 2020, but you’re seeing different members of different parties and their audiences going to different platforms at this point in time.

And of course, we had Truth Social and these alternative social media sites. Truth has really just become a megaphone for Trump and Gettr and Parlor, and all of those are dead. But still, that fragmentation that I think that they were inspired by or excited by those platforms is still making its way through the things that we’re more familiar with, like Instagram and Twitter now.

Lauren Goode: What does that fragmentation mean ultimately? If someone gravitates towards the app where they know they’re going to hear exactly what they want to hear, then isn’t that creating the famous echo chamber?

Makena Kelly: Sure. And I also think it’s partially having to do with policy. So when you look at the Republican Party, they are very aggressive on China. The Chinese government’s association with ByteDance, which owns TikTok, you won’t see a lot of Republicans on the app, solely I think basically for a policy reason. I think Vivek was really the only Republican, major Republican I say as he walks away with less than 8 percent of the vote last night, but he was really the only person trying to reach young people there. I think he saw an opportunity in that app to be the first adopter in the party, whereas we’ve seen Bernie was doing TikToks, and when I say doing TikToks, he wasn’t dancing. That would be ridiculous, but doing his little Bernie shtick that he’s been doing for how many decades, just through a TikTok lens. And Fetterman, John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, he really played TikTok and a bunch of social platforms really well in the… What was it? How many years has this been now? The 2022 midterms. Right?

And so yeah, I think part of it has to do policy-wise. I think also, it’s just older people. I don’t think you see Chuck Grassley, the oldest Senator in the Senate right now. He’ll do push-ups on Instagram, but he’s not going to be dancing to whatever Charli D’Amelio was doing and stuff like that.

Lauren Goode: He’s not getting the special D’Amelio Dunkin’ Donuts drink or anything and flexing it on TikTok?

Makena Kelly: No, he likes to get his blizzards at Dairy Queen and whatever you know what is, if you remember that tweet.

Lauren Goode: How exactly are candidates using AI in their campaign so far?

Makena Kelly: Sure. So I think it’s really interesting, mostly because like we saw with TikTok and all of these apps in 2020 post pandemic, after the pandemic started of course, and we’re in the heat of the 2020 presidential election, you can’t really do retail politics anymore. All of these venues were shut down. You can’t see people and shake hands. And so campaigns really had to adapt quickly to the internet. Bernie was doing livestreams. Joe Biden also did livestreams, and they started off really, really bad. He had a kind of garbled one, if I remember correctly, similar to DeSantis’ X announcement, Twitter space that he did.

Lauren Goode: Oh, right.

Makena Kelly: Do you remember that?

Lauren Goode: Yeah, there were terrible technical difficulties. Yeah.

Makena Kelly: Right. So what we saw in 2020 with this quick adoption, people having to carve out a playbook quickly on how you do this, how you do it right, with a lot of opportunity to be cringe. And we saw a lot of cringe in 2022. And so what we’re seeing with AI right now actually is kind of similar. So AI of course, has been in whatever political software as has been in whatever software in any industry, right? Forever. But when it comes to generative AI, what we’re seeing is a lot of playfulness, people experimenting. I think a lot of the campaign emails we’re going to get soon are going to be created in… If not in ChatGPT, there’s a lot of startups that are working right now to create their own similar text generation thing where you feed in your best campaign emails, the ones that got you the most clicks, the most opens, the most donations. You feed that text into these models.

Quiller is one that has really taken off so far. That’s the app that I think it’s in its beta phase right now, but there’s a lot of excitement right now in the Democratic Party for it. But you feed in your best emails and then they’ll give you out a simple draft of what it is that this next one that’s coming up should look like, depending on who you’re targeting, what you’re doing, what you’re asking for, and it’s a lot easier. Instead of sending you know what, lower level junior staffer to sit there and write an email, that could take an hour. If they’re able to just ask for one, get it delivered and edit it, that takes maybe like 20 minutes and it’s saving a campaign a lot of time.

And when I talk to campaigns, the two resources that they’re always fighting for is A Money. We get text messages, we get emails, we get all of the calls asking for money. We’re aware of that, but it’s also time. And you have these staffers who want to spend more time connecting with voters, and if they could save that time when it comes to generating an email or a text message, they’re looking to take it. So I think text generation’s a really, really big one we’re going to see.

Lauren Goode: Before we go to break, Mike, you had a question that we were going to save for the second half, but it is a really good one about speeches.

Michael Calore: Oh yeah. So Makena, have you seen a speech yet where you’re thinking, “OK, ChatGPT wrote this?”

Makena Kelly: OK, you want to know what? I think most of Trump’s speeches sound like AI, but it’s just him. I don’t know if you have watched enough of those that it’s like, “Where is this coming from?” I feel like Trump’s brain works like a large language model sometimes, just hallucinating, spinning stuff out that doesn’t make quite a lot of sense. But yeah, no, nothing in specific, but I have taken to, when I see a campaign email that comes by, I used to… When ChatGPT, OpenAI had that check to see if this was AI January, I used to throw those in there and see if they were, and I haven’t found one that had a really close to 90 percent likelihood that it was AI generated. So that was months ago.

And so I think we’re going to see a lot of that crop up now too, especially as people start hitting the trail outside of the presidential election as well. We still have House people up for election. We still have Senate elections up, and those are going to be the people who are going to be short for resources, right? Biden is always going to have a lot of money. Trump is always going to have a lot of money. All the national candidates have… The Koch brothers, whoever behind them, and you’re going to see people, especially insurgent candidates, doing some creative stuff in the next year or so.

Lauren Goode: All right, let’s take a quick break and then we’ll come back with more.


Lauren Goode: OK. So there has obviously been a lot of concern about disinformation in the media during election seasons. We talked about this earlier this year… Was it last year? Last year with our colleague, David Gilbert, but this 2024 cycle is poised to hit a new level. This is the generative AI era where images and voices and videos can all just be manufactured almost instantly by anyone. Whether they depict something true or something completely made up. It’s going to make for a very strange uncanny election season.

So Makena, we know that companies like OpenAI do have policies in place that are supposed to prevent campaigns or campaign managers from using ChatGPT to just spit out tons and tons and tons of campaign messaging using AI, right? They’re trying to keep this space as healthy as possible, but also, there are other products out there aside from ChatGPT, right? People are building other tools, there are workarounds. What are you seeing out in the field?

Makena Kelly: Sure. I think it was Chris Christie who created that Donald Duck meme, the Donald Trump Duck thing with Chat or with a DALL-E a couple of months ago, and it was a really cringe meme. So they’re doing that when it comes to content creation for sure, but when you’re looking at things that might actually fool someone, I know the DeSantis super PAC never backed down, was just using what seemed to be the video and image generation tools in Adobe Premiere to create ads by just injecting fighter jets into the back of the skies that they had shot for an ad. So that’s one thing.

Lauren Goode: What was the point of the fighter jets? Is that supposed to be-

Makena Kelly: I think it’s just-

Lauren Goode: Manly, it’s just testosterone.

Makena Kelly: I think it was just “pro-America eagle screech” vibes. So we were seeing things like that. So even just Adobe is a huge tool for campaigns. And then a big thing happening, especially after 2008, and Obama won and used social media and tech really effectively, was people started getting into and creating specific tech products. And now we’re seeing a bunch of startups, campaign tech startups like Quiller as I mentioned, but also a bunch of others that are creating their own large language models to serve campaigns. Democratic campaigns are the focus of it, what I’m seeing so far, but creating their own large language models that they can then charge campaigns a lot of money for and not have the types of rules that OpenAI does because well, OpenAI has all of these rules because they don’t want to be liable for a lot of the content that campaigns make.

Well, if you’re working with a Democratic AI tech vendor, I’m assuming that they’re probably fine with you doing typical political campaign stuff, especially because they’re typically smaller companies, startups that don’t have as much heat on them as a huge company like OpenAI in this moment.

Lauren Goode: It’s also very expensive to build your own LLM. So I imagine that they must be using some open source foundational model first and then building some app on top of that?

Makena Kelly: That’s what I’m assuming. But honestly, from covering this beat for as many years as I’m doing it now, campaigns are pretty techie. Talk about thinking and considering how to use AI ethically and effectively in a campaign. I was reminded that Biden 2020 has a Director of Engineering, and I talked to him the other week and I was like, “Oh yeah, campaigns have Directors of Engineering, they have people who are working on huge tech products, building infrastructure for campaigns. Now, this is mostly national campaigns, but those folks are out there and it’s a huge part of just running any old campaign, whether it be every two years, six years or four years.

Michael Calore: Well, still, the campaigns can’t just do whatever they want because they are also being watched by federal election officials and state election officials. In what ways have the governing bodies that oversee elections put any sort of guardrails up around generative AI tools?

Makena Kelly: That is where I think I would interject a sad trombone sound at this moment because the Federal Elections Commission, like you mentioned, would be the agency in charge here, and they have not done too much when it comes to regulating elections for a very long time. And so recently, when we saw those DeSantis ads go up and we saw campaigns starting to toy with AI and image generation, video generation, all that kind of stuff in their ads, people of course got a little upset and were like, “Well, is there a disclosure anywhere?” When I hear a… And now we’re all going to hear them for the next year, but when I see an ad on television and it’s paid by a super PAC, that needs to be disclosed at the end. It’s, “This ad was paid for by Ron DeSantis or Never Backed Down, or America First,” or whatever all those super PACs are, that has to be disclosed at the end.

Right now under federal law, you can just have the eagle screeching fighter jets thrown in the back of your ad and not even tell people that they’re fake. And so there’s been a handful of petitions. I know Public Citizen as one, they’re an election watchdog group, has tried to petition the FEC to create rules requiring similar disclosures when it comes to AI generation and ads, but it hasn’t moved anywhere. Representative Yvette Clarke from New York, and then Senator Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota, they have worked on a bill to institute that at the legislative level, not going anywhere right now either.

And I think when we have these conversations about tech, whether it’s in elections or just tech policy, these things never really tend to happen until something really breaks. And even then, when we’re thinking of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, Meta, whatever, nothing really came of that either. And so sadly, I think people are waiting almost for the system to break, for something to go really, really, really, really wrong before people act because yeah, we’re heading into election year. A lot of the people who are legislators are now up for election, and maybe that’s their main priority right now.

Michael Calore: I feel like most people have a really good bullshit meter when it comes to deep fakes and memes, videos that show politicians saying something that they didn’t really say, or a meme that makes it look like they said a quote that they didn’t actually say or passing along some sort of message or supporting a particular group. I feel like most people in the United States would see that and they’d say, “Ah, that doesn’t really feel right.” And if it’s outrageous, like you were saying, the really big things that break the system, then that makes news and then more people are talking about it and it undermines that sort of tactic to discredit somebody or to make them appear as though they said something they didn’t say.

As the tools are getting better, that’s probably a harder line to define. As things look better and as the videos are more convincing and as the memes are more convincing, then it becomes harder for people to make that decision themselves, right?

Makena Kelly: Sure. And at that point, who are we relying on? We’re relying on the platforms to enforce their policies. We’ve seen how that’s gone in multiple election cycles. And then also, when I think about… We talk about deepfakes being relatively easy to spot. There’s two things, and one was, I don’t know if anybody remembers, but the Nancy Pelosi drunk video on Facebook where she was apparently slurring her words. That wasn’t even a deepfake, that was just someone slowing down a video in a way that I think… For me, I spend what? Every day on the internet, every hour of every day. I can spot that, but someone who’s maybe older, someone who maybe wants to believe that that’s what that is, they may be more susceptible.

And to think about a really big scam going on right now are scammers using AI generated versions of someone’s voice to call their elderly parents or whoever, and convince them that they’re in trouble, they’re in jail, they need bail money. “Can you wire me bail money?” Using this voice and you would think that you’d be able to tell that this is your loved one, this is your mother, your sister, your brother, and know their voice and know whether this is a fake AI generation, but people are falling for that too. So if you don’t even know who your family member is, if you can’t even recognize that difference, then I think it’s hard for someone to recognize the difference with maybe someone they just hear in soundbites on the internet or on the news.

Lauren Goode: And that is the part I mentioned earlier where you might leave this podcast feeling a bit dismayed. We have to leave it there, and unfortunately we’re not going to come to all of the solutions on this one episode. But Makena, this has been super informative. We really appreciate you joining us, once again, from an airport. Stick around because after the break we’re going to do our recommendations.


Lauren Goode: All right, Makena, as our guest of honor, what is your recommendation this week?

Makena Kelly: OK, so I didn’t have a lot of time to think about this, but the one thing that really saved my life, I don’t know if anyone was paying attention, but Iowa was very cold the past couple of days. On Sunday, it got to -19 when I left my hotel, and I was very grateful for Uniqlo Underlayers, their HeatTech. Those really saved my life, the pants, the shirt. I’m really, really glad that I brought those.

Michael Calore: Are those the kind that have the reflective material on the inside and it reflects body heat back to you?

Makena Kelly: Yes. I think that’s what it does. I just wear them underneath my clothes and I was a little warm. I think the coldest part of me were my toes and I had to go buy new socks at Target after some event.

Lauren Goode: How much do these base layers cost?

Makena Kelly: I think they can’t cost too much. It is Uniqlo, and I know that… I feel like I love Uniqlo because the clothing there is typically very affordable. And from the stuff that I bought, it lasts a while. I wish I knew the price, but this is something that my husband gets all of our family members for Christmas every year, and I am always eternally grateful for it.

Lauren Goode: That’s a very good gift. That’s thoughtful. Thoughtful man.

Makena Kelly: He’s really good at practical gifts.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, yeah, base layers. Well, hopefully when you get a little downtime after all this campaign coverage, you can go on a ski trip or something and use them.

Makena Kelly: So actually, funny story, my husband’s aunt has a ski house in New Hampshire and she is begging me to come out to the primaries, so I am really considering it because I’ve never skied before and I would really like to learn.

Lauren Goode: Well, don’t break a leg. That’s all I got to say, but that sounds delightful. Well, thank you for that recommendation, Makena. Mike, what’s your recommendation this week?

Michael Calore: I’m going to recommend a television show. It just wrapped, so the entire thing is available to stream. It’s called The Curse, and it is on Showtime, which I think is now also called Paramount+, but I’m just going to keep calling it Showtime. They have to stop changing the names of things.

Lauren Goode: I know.

Michael Calore: So The Curse is a new show from the minds of Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie. So it is extremely cringe, the whole show. It will just make you deeply uncomfortable in absolutely the best way. The stars of the show are Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone, who’s having a moment. We love Emma Stone. This show cements her as possibly the greatest actress of her generation. Her performance in it is fantastic.

The story, I won’t give too much away, it’s about a couple that does a reality show for an HDTV style network. It’s called Flipanthropy, where they buy old properties in their hometown in ex-urban Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a community where it’s run down. There’s a lot of indigenous people living in the community, and they are trying really, really hard not to be the white gentrifiers. They’re deeply selfish people. So of course, they fail at that and they fail at almost everything, and the show takes a couple of very unexpected, dramatic turns. It is funny, it is difficult to watch, and the ending is absolutely the best ending of any TV show that I’ve seen in recent memory. Lauren, I know you just started watching it.

Lauren Goode: I did, first episode.

Michael Calore: And if you have not started watching it, I will recommend, in addition to recommending watching the show, do not read about the show, because if you read about the show, it will probably spoil the ending for you because the ending was so divisive and so wild. There’s a lot of ink being written right now this week, the week of the 15th, about the ending, which just aired. So if you’re starting to watch The Curse, go on Curse media blackout as best you can until you finish it, and then read all of them and tweet at me and tell me what you think.

Lauren Goode: That’s a great recommendation. I actually subscribed to Paramount+ just to watch it, and I have seven days for free trial, but I’m super busy this week. So I’m like, “Oh, no. Can I fit in the whole season in seven days?” I probably can’t.

Michael Calore: It’s 10 episodes.

Lauren Goode: No, I definitely can’t then. Paramount+ has me in their clutches now.

Michael Calore: Yeah. Well, get through as much of it as you can and then pay the 10 bucks to finish it.

Lauren Goode: Yeah. Well, thank you for that, Mike.

Michael Calore: Sure.

Lauren Goode: Also, Benny Safdie is your doppelganger.

Michael Calore: Do you think I look like him?

Lauren Goode: Yeah. And it took me a moment to realize… It took me almost the entire first episode to realize that was Benny Safdie. I was like, “Oh my God.”

Michael Calore: Yeah, good physical-

Lauren Goode: Total greaseball producer.

Michael Calore: Physical transformation. He’s very good on the show. Everybody’s very good on the show. Anyway, what is your recommendation?

Lauren Goode: My recommendation is also a TV show. It’s called, I’m very behind on this, Catastrophe. When I started watching Catastrophe, because it was available on Amazon Prime Video and I was looking for something to watch that was half hour digestible episodes, I realized that it came out in 2015 and my brain did this thing where I thought, “OK, it’s just a few years old.” And I was like, “Oh my God. That was almost a decade ago.” Now 2015 is almost a decade ago. What has happened?

Anyway, it stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, who also write the show. They star as characters named Sharon and Rob. And the very first episode, they have a week-Long fling in London where Sharon’s character is based and Rob is visiting on business, and it results in a pregnancy, an unplanned pregnancy, and they decide to move ahead with it and not only move ahead with it, but also, have a relationship, and eventually get married and build a family and move to London and deal with in-laws. And they just go all in.

And the thing about both Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney is that they’re both deeply funny, but heartfelt people, and I think the show really reflects that. There’s four seasons and I can’t believe I’m so late to this, because once again, the finale, a lot of ink was spilled on the finale because it ends in a ambiguous and slightly ominous way. But it’s really good. And I’m glad, even though a lot of you listening, maybe you’ve already seen it because it’s nearly 10 years old, I’m glad that I discovered this and I’m watching it late.

And yeah, there are also some references in there to Brexit and Trump and things like that going on at the time that they were happening. And of course, it’s all pre-pandemic too, so it’s a time warp. But put that aside and just enjoy the dialogue and the dynamic between these two wonderful writers and actors.

Michael Calore: Solid.

Lauren Goode: All right, that is our show this week. Makena, thank you again for joining us. We hope to have you back on, hopefully from a more comfortable place on your end.

Makena Kelly: Of course.

Lauren Goode: And thank you all for listening. If you have feedback, you can find all of us on the social media sites. Just check the show notes. Our producer is the excellent Boone Ashworth, also known as Mr. Redundancy. Goodbye for now. We’ll be back next week.

[Gadget Lab outro theme music plays]

Michael Calore: You should say, also known as Mr. Redundancy a few more times, just so he has it.

Lauren Goode: Exactly. Also known as Mr. Redundancy. Our producer-

Michael Calore: Also known as Mr. Redundancy.

Lauren Goode: Also known as Mr. Redundancy. Also known as Mr. Redundancy.

Boone Ashworth: Wait, sorry, can I get that one more time?

Lauren Goode: Also known as Mr. Redundancy.

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on Political Campaigns

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized various industries, and the realm of politics is no exception. With its ability to process vast amounts of data, analyze patterns, and make predictions, AI has become an invaluable tool for political campaigns. From targeting voters to shaping campaign strategies, AI is transforming the way politicians connect with their constituents. In this article, we will explore the impact of AI on political campaigns and its implications for the future of democracy.

One of the most significant ways AI is impacting political campaigns is through data analysis. AI algorithms can collect and analyze massive amounts of data from social media platforms, public records, and other sources to gain insights into voter behavior and preferences. This allows campaigns to create more targeted and personalized messages, effectively reaching potential voters. By understanding the demographics, interests, and concerns of different voter segments, politicians can tailor their campaign strategies to resonate with specific groups.

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are also becoming increasingly common in political campaigns. These tools can engage with voters on social media platforms, answer their questions, and provide information about candidates’ policies. Chatbots can handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously, providing real-time responses and freeing up campaign staff to focus on other critical tasks. Moreover, AI-powered chatbots can learn from interactions with voters, continuously improving their responses and understanding of voter concerns.

Another area where AI is making a significant impact is in predicting election outcomes. By analyzing historical data, polling data, and social media trends, AI algorithms can make accurate predictions about election results. This information is invaluable for campaign strategists as it helps them allocate resources effectively and focus efforts on key battlegrounds. AI’s predictive capabilities also enable campaigns to identify swing voters and target them with specific messages that are likely to sway their opinions.

AI is also playing a role in combating misinformation and fake news during political campaigns. With the proliferation of social media, false information can spread rapidly, influencing public opinion and distorting the political discourse. AI algorithms can analyze news articles, social media posts, and other sources to identify false or misleading information. By flagging such content, AI helps campaigns and social media platforms take necessary action to prevent the spread of misinformation, ensuring a more informed electorate.

However, the increasing reliance on AI in political campaigns raises concerns about privacy and ethical implications. The collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal data raise questions about data protection and potential misuse. Additionally, the use of AI algorithms to target specific voter segments can lead to echo chambers and reinforce existing biases, limiting the diversity of opinions and perspectives in political discourse.

Furthermore, AI’s predictive capabilities can raise concerns about the manipulation of election outcomes. If campaigns solely rely on AI predictions, they may overlook the importance of grassroots organizing and genuine engagement with voters. It is crucial to strike a balance between utilizing AI’s capabilities and maintaining a human-centric approach to political campaigns.

In conclusion, AI is revolutionizing political campaigns by providing valuable insights into voter behavior, enabling personalized messaging, predicting election outcomes, and combating misinformation. While AI offers numerous benefits, it is essential to address privacy concerns, ethical considerations, and the potential for manipulation. As technology continues to advance, it is crucial for policymakers and campaign strategists to navigate these challenges carefully to ensure that AI enhances democracy rather than undermining it.

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