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Bloomberg Night Briefing: AI Is Already Coming for American Politics

July 12, 2023 at 5:50 PM EDT

It’s a jarring political ad: Images of a Chinese attack on Taiwan lead into scenes of looted banks and armed soldiers enforcing martial law in San Francisco. A narrator insinuates it’s all happening on US President Joe Biden’s watch. Those visuals in a Republican National Committee spot aren’t real and the scenarios are clearly fictional. But thanks to artificial intelligence, they look pretty real. Within days of the ad appearing online in April, Representative Yvette Clarke, a New York Democrat, introduced legislation to require disclosure of AI-produced content in political advertisements. “This is going too far,” she said. In the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, her bill is going nowhere. But it illustrates the degree to which AI’s rapid advance has put Washington on the back foot. And the 2024 election is less than 16 months away.

Biden on Wednesday championed diplomatic breakthroughs at this week’s NATO summit while seeking to bolster his reelection prospects. With Russia’s war on Ukraine still raging 17 months on, the president warned that the fate of democracy would be determined by decisions made by the US and its allies in the coming years. Before leaders arrived at the gathering in Lithuania, Turkey suggested it wouldn’t move forward with Sweden’s application to join the alliance. By the time it was over, Turkey had retreated and Sweden’s accession was back on track.

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