The American Republican Party turned to artificial intelligence in a new advertisement (ad) attacking President Joe Biden’s reelection bid – a development that’s being touted as a first for political advertising.
Biden formally announced that he will seek a second term in office in the 2024 election along with Vice President Kamala Harris last week.
In response, the Republican National Committee (RNC) posted a YouTube video titled “Beat Biden”, in which it harshly criticized Biden’s record since becoming president four years ago and rehashed fears popular in right-wing circles.
Every image in the ad is completely generated by AI, and shows Biden and Harris celebrating their imagined victory on election day. The Republican Party did not hide that it leveraged AI tools like Midjourney and OpenAI’s DALL-E in creating visuals for the 30-second video.
“An AI-generated look into the country’s possible future if Joe Biden is re-elected in 2024,” reads the video description on the GOP’s YouTube page.
Republicans foresee dystopian future under Biden
The Republican video imagines a dystopian future in the event that Biden and Harris win the 2024 election. It opens with an image of the President winning a second term under a dark background and then follows with hypothetical crises such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
There are simulated explosions in the contested Asian country, police in tactical gear lining the streets of San Francisco to curb high crime and drug abuse, migrants flooding the southern border with Mexico, and Wall Street buildings on fire.
Republicans claim this is the first time they have used a video that was made entirely with AI. But artificial intelligence has been used elsewhere in political campaigns, such as to identify fundraising audiences and generate written content.
In a statement accompanying the ad, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel emphasized that the party will continue to hammer on the themes portrayed in the video until the party wins office.
“Biden is so out-of-touch that after creating crisis after crisis, he thinks he deserves another four years,” she said. “If voters let Biden ‘finish the job,’ inflation will continue to skyrocket, crime rates will rise, more fentanyl will cross our open borders, children will continue to be left behind, and American families will be worse off.”
When Joe Biden announced his reelection bid he also released a video in which he attacked Republicans declaring, “let’s finish the job”. The Republican video was as a matter of fact a reaction to both the President’s bid and his own attack ad.
But Democrats are not amused by the RNC’s artificial intelligence ad denigrating its preferred presidential candidate.
“Biden’s campaign launch starts with actual dystopic footage of the final days of Trump and then shows actual great moment’s of Biden’s presidency,” tweeted Ben Wikler, the chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
“The GOP don’t want anyone thinking about how much has been achieved… so they had AI make their attacks up.”
Biden’s campaign launch starts with actual dystopic footage of the final days of Trump and then shows actual great moment’s of Biden’s presidency.
The GOP don’t want anyone thinking about how much has been achieved… so they had AI make their attacks up. 🤦♂️ https://t.co/SYe0lYOMFn
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) April 25, 2023
The Democratic National Committee also criticized the ad in a statement. “In incredibly telling fashion, the RNC had to *make up* images because, quite simply, they can’t argue with President Biden’s results,” it stated.