On Tuesday 25 April 2023, current US President Joe Biden officially announced his campaign for re-election in 2024, asking Americans for another four more years to “finish this job,” possibly setting up an incredibly worrying rematch with the country’s prior President, Donald Trump.
On that same day, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a dystopian anti-Biden advert as a response to news of his White House run. What makes the 32-second-long clip so eerie however, isn’t the fact that it feels more like a teaser for a new The Purge movie, but more so that it was created using AI-generated images.
Though the video features other images which don’t include President Biden and current Vice President Kamala Harris supposedly celebrating at a future Election Day party, a spokesperson for the RNC has confirmed that this ad is the very first time that the political committee has produced a video that is 100 per cent AI.
These fake celebratory pictures of both politicians are then followed by a series of imagined reports about international and domestic crises that the ad suggests would follow a Biden victory in 2024. In a very American manner, Republicans are basically predicting the end of the world were the Democrat to serve for a second term.
So, why does it matter, you ask? Well, considering the fact that AI-generated images have already been disrupting the art and media sectors thanks to systems such as Midjourney and DALL-E, it’s ironic to see the RNC, a party that often masquerades as “for the working man” actively choose to take away jobs from artists and producers who could have contributed to the ad.
It’s also slightly scary to now see it make its way into politics too—in turn, further blurring the lines between what’s real and what isn’t.
Furthermore, this move from the US Republicans seems to suggest that, from now on, political groups are likely to utilise this technology for a number of different campaign purposes.