Artificial intelligence (AI) tools present an alarming potential to amplify election misinformation in the upcoming presidential race. This growing unease is widely shared among adults in the United States, as revealed by a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Election misinformation

The poll’s results underscore that nearly 6 in 10 adults, constituting 58% of respondents, harbor concerns that AI tools, capable of micro-targeting political audiences, churning out persuasive messages on a massive scale, and generating highly convincing fake images and videos in seconds, will exacerbate the dissemination of false and misleading information during the forthcoming elections.

Recalling the events of 2020, 66-year-old Rosa Rangel from Fort Worth, Texas, voiced her apprehension. As a Democrat, she observed an abundance of “lies” on social media in the previous election and believes that AI’s influence could potentially make matters even worse in 2024, likening it to a pot “brewing over.”

Consensus: No AI in campaigns and ads

While only 30% of American adults have engaged with AI chatbots, and 46% have some awareness of AI tools, a consensus prevails that political candidates should abstain from using AI in their campaigns.

When the poll queried respondents on the appropriateness of 2024 presidential candidates employing AI in specific ways, a substantial majority expressed disapproval.

A staggering 83% of respondents found it unacceptable for candidates to create false or misleading media for political advertisements. Similarly, 66% disapproved of using AI to edit or enhance photos or videos for political ads.

A significant 62% considered tailoring political advertisements to individual voters objectionable, while 56% disagreed with the idea of candidates answering voters’ questions via chatbots.

Prevent the misuse of AI

The poll findings illustrate a broad societal consensus that safeguards should be in place to prevent the misuse of AI in the political arena, reinforcing the imperative for transparency and ethical practices in 2024.

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