The 2024 US Presidential race is heating up, and the candidates along with their supporters have a new weapon at their disposal: Artificial intelligence tools, which can easily generate realistic images and voices. As Semafor reports, the DeSantis War Room has shared images showing Donald Trump embracing Dr. Anthony Fauci, who became a controversial figure to conservatives following the COVID-19 pandemic. The short clip compares Trump as a reality TV star firing people in The Apprentice with the “real life Trump” who apparently refused to fire the doctor.
While the video was marked on Twitter with a warning that says three of the still shots showing Trump embracing Fauci are “AI generated images,” some people could believe they were real. DeSantis’ camp didn’t deny that they weren’t real photos, but it didn’t explicitly say that either. Someone familiar with DeSantis’ political campaign told Semafor that the video was a “social media post” and not an ad, though it’s unclear if that’s the reason why the images were not clearly marked as computer-generated.
The DeSantis camp isn’t the only group using AI-generated images this election, though. When President Joe Biden officially announced his re-election bid, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released video ads created entirely using artificial intelligence. The video shows Biden and Kamala Harris at a victory party followed by several domestic and international incidents the RNC says might happen if they win. Donald Trump, Jr. also reportedly shared a video swapping DeSantis’ face and voice over a scene from The Office in the past. Meanwhile, former President Trump shared a video mocking DeSantis’ Twitter Spaces launch with AI voices that featured figures, such as Adolf Hitler. Clearly, Americans will be bombarded with AI-generated images and voices this election, and it’s up to them to figure out what’s real and what’s not.