The Republican Party has released a new ad attacking President Joe Biden. And the ad might be a new milestone for political campaigns. It’s the first to use images created exclusively with artificial intelligence technology.
The ad, which is titled “Beat Biden” and is available on Twitter and YouTube, imagines what it would look like if President Biden is re-elected in 2024. The text on screen asks “what if the weakest president we ever had were re-elected,” while showing images that were created using AI.
AI image generators like Stable Diffusion, DALL-E and MidJourney have become extremely popular over the past few months. Users are able to simply describe what they’d like to see using text and then the AI generates the image.
At first glance, many people might not know the image was created using AI, but there’s a tiny disclaimer in the upper left corner.
The ad also has all the trademark signs of the technology. For starters, the fake Biden has weird looking hands, as you can see in the screenshot below.
The fake Biden and fake Vice President Kamala Harris also have way too many visible teeth, another surefire indication you’re looking at artificially generate images.
As Mat Honan, the editor-in-chief at the MIT Technology Review, points out, the geography of the ad doesn’t even make sense.
“Also I’m curious what the AI thinks all these people are doing in the Marin headlands? Are these, like, cyclist gangs? Out marauding through the hills on their $15,000 road bikes? (While carrying umbrellas),” Honan, who lives in San Francisco, tweeted on Tuesday.
It’s not clear what AI software the GOP is using to create these images, nor whether the Republican National Committee intends to make more ads featuring fake images. But it really does feel like a new chapter in politics when ads like this can be created so quickly and easily. Back when Republican Rick Santorum released a similarly themed ad in 2012 about President Barack Obama’s potential re-election and the dystopian world that would result in 2014, there wasn’t any AI to streamline the process.