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The Democrats wanted an agreement on the use of artificial intelligence. It went nowhere – Boston Herald

FILE – President Joe Biden is photographed by participants after delivering a speech commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., day, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

By DAN MERICA (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic National Committee watched earlier this year as campaigns across the country experimented with artificial intelligence. That is why the organization approached a handful of influential party campaign committees with the request: sign up for guidelines that require them to use the technology in a ‘responsible’ manner.

The draft agreement, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, was hardly full of revolutionary ideas. It called for campaigns to monitor the work of AI tools, protect against bias and prevent AI from being used to create misleading content.

“Our goal is to use this new technology both effectively and ethically, and in a way that promotes – rather than undermines – the values ​​we embrace in our campaigns,” the draft said.

The plan went nowhere.

Rather than promoting an agreement, the guidelines sparked a debate about the value of such commitments, especially those related to rapidly evolving technology. Among the concerns of Democratic campaign organizations is this: Such a pledge could hinder their ability to deploy AI and deter donors with ties to the AI ​​industry. Some committee officials were also annoyed that the DNC gave them only a few days to agree to the guidelines.

The proposal’s demise exposed internal divisions over campaign tactics and the party’s uncertainty over how best to use AI, amid warnings from experts that the technology is boosting the spread of disinformation.

Hannah Muldavin, a senior spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said the group is not giving up on finding a consensus.

The DNC, she said, “will continue to work with our sister committees to discuss ideas and issues important to Democratic campaigns and to American voters, including AI.”

“It is not unusual for ideas and plans to change, especially in the midst of a busy election year, and all documents on this topic reflect early and ongoing conversations,” Muldavin said, adding that “DNC and our partners take the opportunities and challenges seriously. presented by AI.”

The bickering comes as campaigns increasingly use artificial intelligence – computer systems, software or processes that emulate aspects of human work and cognition – to optimize workloads. That includes using big language models to write fundraising emails, text supporters and build chatbots to answer voters’ questions.

This trend is expected to continue as the November general election approaches, with campaigns turning to powerful generative AI tools to create text and images, clone human voices and create video at lightning speed.

The Republican National Committee used AI-generated imagery in a television spot last year predicting a dystopian future under President Joe Biden.