Navigating AI's Role in Politics, Campaigns, and Advocacy: The TON Reading List

Tectonica has compiled a comprehensive reading list on AI's impact on politics, campaigning, and advocacy, covering various perspectives and concerns, from the potential for AI to exacerbate trust issues in politics to the need for ethical guidelines in its use. This compilation encompasses practical applications and speculative pieces on how AI is poised to change our politics, as well as ongoing regulatory efforts.

 

Introduction

In this moment as AI technology is rapidly poised to reshape the landscape of politics, campaigning, workers' rights, and advocacy, the emergence of AI is both promising and dangerous in important ways. At Tectonica, we've attempted to understand the multifaceted impact of AI in these domains, regularly sharing our insights and key articles we’ve discovered in our TON newsletter over the past several months. Today, we're excited to share that we have compiled a reading list that gathers and categorises all the AI resources and articles we've shared, offering a comprehensive overview of the conversations currently taking place around AI.

Our previous newsletters have included an array of perspectives that cover the complexity of AI's integration into society. These articles have encompassed concerns about the technology's potential to amplify misinformation, the profound ethical considerations of AI use in campaigning, and the need for transparency and rules governing the use of AI.

Kicking off this compilation are two articles by Tectonica. The first dissects the effects AI will have on human connection and how it is poised to further exacerbate a lack of trust in our politics. The second article calls for consensus, offering guiding principles and thoughtful considerations to shape the ethical implementation of AI in politics and campaigning. These articles set the stage for the resources and ideas that follow. 

From practical implementations of AI in our current reality to speculative pieces on its potential to reshape our political sphere, this compilation attempts to capture the complete spectrum of AI dialogue at the moment. We also provide an overview of the ongoing efforts and challenges in regulating this technology, as we grapple with determining which voices should lead these efforts and how we can effectively regulate AI, given its global ubiquity.

Current AI discourse inspires both fears and optimism, echoing worries of a future impacted by biassed algorithms and, conversely, curiosity in how the technology could hold potential to advance progressive causes. We invite you to explore these readings and encourage you to let us know if there are any insightful pieces that we may have missed. We’ve categorised things here, with an eye towards those working in politics and campaigns, to try to ease the pain of finding information most relevant to your interests and needs. As the conversation evolves, so do our insights and our collective understanding, and we look forward to sharing more on this topic through our newsletter and upcoming events.

Index of AI Topics

1. Tectonica's Take on AI: Organising and ethics in its application to politics

2. Today's Tools: Current tools, and practical advice for using tools in non-profits and progressive campaigns

3. Ethical Implications: Thoughts on AI's ethical use in politics and transparency of use

4. Potential: Envisioning future potential uses in campaigns

5. Threats & Bias: Dangers in using AI in political contexts, considerations when using AI technology, and the potential for malicious uses

6. Impact on Society: How AI will change the landscape of our society and the new injustices we will likely need to fight

7. Regulation

    a. European Regulation

    b. US & Canada Regulation

    c. Global Approach to Regulation

    d. Non-governmental and Industry Regulation

1. Tectonica’s Take on AI: Organising and ethics in its application to politics

Do Activist Androids Dream of Electric Voters?: Examining the frenemy of AI application in civics, the misconceptions of bias in AI use, and the unforeseen revolutionary potential of AI on participatory democracy (Part 1 of 2), 19 October 2023

This first article in a two-part series explores the dual nature of AI in modern civics, highlighting its implications as both a threat due to inherent biases and the likelihood of boosting transactional over transformational politics, and its revolutionary potential for enriching civic participation. This article emphasises the need for careful progressive intentionality in the application of AI.

Do Activist Androids Dream of Electric Voters? Part 2: How Generative AI Can Help Us Build an Intentional Course to a Stronger Participatory Democracy (Part 2 of 2), 2 November 2023

This second article in our two-part series concludes the discussion of the risks and opportunities of AI use in politics, highlighting the danger of amplifying transactional tactics over the transformational and how this could spell the end of progressive political movements if realised. However, if used with intention there is real potential to enhance participatory democracy and empower marginalised voices.

Organising is Needed More Than Ever in the Age of AI, 11 May 2023

This blog post discusses the challenges faced by progressive movements in the social media age, emphasising the trust gap that has emerged due to social media. While we recognise the potential opportunities and benefits that AI can offer, there is a concern that it may worsen the erosion of human connection and participatory engagement within our movements, elements which are pivotal in building effective and sustainable power.

The Democratic Dilemma of AI: Navigating Ethical Challenges for Political and Advocacy Campaigns, 12 June 2023

Amidst the rapid adoption of advanced AI in political campaigns, this article emphasises the need for deep dialogue on the novel ethical responsibilities of AI's use in politics, highlighting its transformative potential and advocating for discussions to establish ethical standards and responsible utilisation to navigate the evolving landscape.

The Commons Social Change Library: AI, Technology and Social Transformation with Ned Howey

In this podcast interview, Tectonica's CEO Ned Howey and Aoife Carli-Hannan from The Commons Social Change Library explore AI in politics, discussing its challenges and opportunities for democracy, including the potential to both reinforce biases and enable transformative social change movements.

2. Today’s Tools: Current tools, and practical advice for using tools in non-profits and progressive campaigns

How AI Is Transforming the Way Political Campaigns Work, 1 February 2024, The Nation

The article discusses AI's transformation of political campaigns through automation and innovative tools like VotivateAI, enhancing voter engagement efficiency while cautioning against the risks of disinformation, voter alienation, and the ethical concerns of digital campaigning.

How Italy’s Government is Using AI, 30 January 2024, Democracy Technologies

The article explores Italy's integration of AI in public services, from enhancing customer service to fighting tax evasion, highlighting the importance of transparency and equitable implementation amidst resource constraints, and exploring the ethical and practical aspects of AI in governance.

Exclusive: AI Turbocharges Campaign Fundraising, 30 January 2024, Axios

Tech for Campaigns has successfully leveraged AI, specifically through ChatGPT and Bard, to increase fundraising efficiency for Democrats, freeing up staff for voter engagement, despite OpenAI's restrictions, with plans to expand AI use in campaigning.

How AI Works, 10 January 2024, Medium

This article simplifies the workings of Large Language Models (LLMs) using a meal planning analogy, explaining how they learn language patterns and predict words in two steps, making AI principles more accessible.

Meet Ashley, the World's First AI-powered Political Campaign Caller, 15 December 2023, Reuters

Shamaine Daniels introduces "Ashley," the first AI-powered campaign caller by Civox, to conduct personalised voter conversations, raising both the potential for enhanced outreach and concerns over disinformation, with measures for transparency and legal clarity underway.

Donor Box Blog: AI for Nonprofits - How to Use Artificial Intelligence for Good, 8 December 2023

This guide assists nonprofits in utilising AI to transform fundraising and campaigns by providing strategies for leveraging AI tools to streamline tasks, analyse data, and boost engagement, along with advice on choosing and integrating the right AI solutions into their strategies.

Presidential Candidate's AI Chatbot Fields Policy Questions, 20 November 2023, Tech Target

Asa Hutchinson's presidential campaign introduces an AI chatbot to share his policy views, drawing mixed reactions from experts concerned about misinformation and reflecting broader anxieties about AI's role in the 2024 election.

A.I. Checklist for Charity Trustees and Leaders, November 2023, Zoe Amar Digital

This AI checklist is a detailed guide for charity trustees and leaders to understand and integrate AI effectively, addressing the sector's widespread recognition of AI's relevance and the prevailing unpreparedness for its challenges and opportunities.

In Search of "AI Savvy" in Non-profits, 10 November 2023, LinkedIn

This article from Nick Scott discusses the importance of AI savviness for non-profits, outlining its potential benefits and risks, and advocating for a balanced approach to AI integration in their operations.

From Comms to Strategy: Where AI Will Have the Biggest Impact In ’24, 25 October 2023, Campaigns & Elections

Approaching the 2024 elections, political campaigns are adapting their strategies to counter AI-generated misinformation by creating powerful narratives and using AI for tasks like transcription, while grappling with its limitations in conveying human emotion and inspiration.

Five Tips for Leading in the AI Era, 10 October 2023, CharityComms

The article offers guidance for charity and nonprofit leaders on utilising artificial intelligence, emphasising a balance between embracing AI's benefits and retaining human-centric leadership qualities, with practical tips for integrating AI into organisational strategies.

ChatGPT, Generative AI, & AI Alternative Use Cases for Your Nonprofit, 22 September 2023, Future Frontier

The article explores how generative AI can benefit nonprofit organisations by enhancing volunteer orientation, translation, community outreach, advocacy coordination, training, and data/reporting, thereby improving efficiency and helping nonprofits achieve their missions more effectively.

Early Use Cases for AI in Politics & Campaigns, 21 April 2023, Higher Ground Labs

This article provides a curated list of AI tools categorised by their utility, offering readers a glimpse into the evolving landscape of AI applications in progressive politics, while acknowledging the ethical and privacy considerations inherent in this fast-evolving domain.

Micah White: ProtestGPT - Activist AI

ProtestGPT is an experimental AI resource designed to help activists generate tailored protest ideas and strategies, offering campaign concepts, theories of change, press releases, and step-by-step guides, with 200 unique protest campaign ideas available for potential use.

Can AI Images Work For Your Campaign?, 28 August 2023, Campaigns & Elections 

This article explores the use of AI art generators like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney for political campaigns seeking cost-effective image solutions, highlighting their potential as supplementary campaign visuals while cautioning against relying on AI for central campaign imagery.

The AI Revolution is Canceled, 2 August 2023, Campaigns & Elections

AI's current usage and impact on campaigns has thus far been limited, excelling in content generation but not replacing human consultants; while AI enhances efficiency, it hasn't yet revolutionised the field due to the nuanced nature of politics and public affairs.

Using AI in Advocacy and Political Campaigns, 2 June 2023, Speaking Moylanguage

A veteran campaigner examines the impact of AI on political campaigns, discussing the practical advantages of AI in terms of efficiency alongside ethical concerns, and offering his perspective on making the best use of AI, while providing additional resources on the topic.

AI and Political Campaigns: Let’s Get Real, 5 April 2023, Campaigns & Elections

This article explores the positive applications of AI in political campaigns, highlighting its role in improving audience targeting, tracking disinformation, and aiding the creative process for content creation, while emphasising the need for human supervision to ensure authenticity.

3. Ethical Implications: Thoughts on AI's ethical use in politics and transparency of use

Susan Mernit: Ethical Frameworks for AI: An Introductory Review of Key Resources for Nonprofits

This resource collection reviews ethical AI adoption guidelines for nonprofits, emphasising organisational, ethical, and technical considerations, highlighting key resources for responsible integration, and noting the importance of diversity, policy clarity, and human-centered deployment.

We Need to Democratize AI, 27 November 2023, IAI News

Hélène Landemore and John Tasioulas advocate for democratizing AI governance through citizens' assemblies to ensure AI development aligns with diverse human interests, citing OpenAI's recent issues as evidence of current oversight inadequacies.

The Ethics of AI in Political Creative, 9 October 2023, Campaigns & Elections

In navigating the ethical concerns of AI in political campaigns, creative practitioners stress the importance of maintaining voter trust, candidate consent, responsible AI use aligned with campaign values, and transparency with legal counsel.

Ethics And Transparency In AI-Powered Political Advertising, 25 August 2023, Forbes

This article explores the evolving role of AI in political advertising, highlighting its potential for personalisation and optimisation while discussing ethical concerns related to data privacy, bias, and misinformation.

AI and Political Email — Ethics, Practice and Labor, 22 July 2023, AaronHuertas.com

The incorporation of AI tools into political email programs raises ethical concerns about non-human communication, while promising efficiency gains and potentially displacing jobs, underscoring the importance of transparency in disclosing AI-generated content.

Is Your Nonprofit Thinking About Using ChatGPT? Your First Step is to Do No Harm, 8 June 2023, Candid

A nonprofit's failed chatbot project offers lessons on ethical AI implementation, stressing a human-centred approach, cautioning against over-reliance on bots, and advocating for careful design, testing, human oversight, increased AI literacy, and specific use case identification.

4. Potential: Envisioning future potential uses in campaigns

FiveThirtyEight: 2024 is the First AI Election - What Does That Mean?, 1 December 2023, ABC

This podcast episode, featuring Ethan Bueno de Mesquita from the University of Chicago, delves into the impact of ChatGPT on AI and its potential influence on the 2024 presidential election, discussing his co-authored white paper on generative AI and electoral politics.

AI Chatbots Fall Short in Dozens of Languages. A Non-profit Project Aims to Fix That, 19 November 2023, The Globe and Mail

The article covers Cohere For AI's project to develop an AI model conversant in 101 languages, including less-represented ones, aiming to overcome Large Language Models' limitations and promote global AI inclusivity and safety.

Can Unions Adopt the Best of AI to Fight the Worst of AI?, 27 November 2023, Unions21

This article discusses the crucial role unions can play in the AI era, urging them to adopt AI for improved strategies and member engagement, and to address challenges like algorithmic bias, mirroring the influential role unions played during the industrial revolution.

Generative AI Like ChatGPT Could Help Boost Democracy – If it Overcomes Key Hurdles, 7 November 2023, The Conversation

Kaylyn Jackson Schiff and Daniel S. Schiff, associate professors from Perdue University, examine the potential of generative AI to improve democratic processes, emphasizing the need to address challenges like bias and authenticity in political engagement.

Exponentially: A Golden Age for Democracy?, 18 October 2023, Bloomberg

Yale professor Hélène Landemore explores AI's potential to enhance democracy by aiding inclusive civic assemblies, despite challenges like misinformation, in a podcast discussing AI's role in democratic participation and problem-solving.

Party Party: Political Journalism - Between AI and Polarisation, 7 September 2023

This panel discussion focuses on the challenges and opportunities in political journalism for the upcoming 2024 EU election in light of AI, addressing voter preferences, discontent with institutions, AI's potential in trend identification, and the significance of tech advancements.

The AI Breakdown: Could AI End Up Being Good for Democracy?, 19 August 2023, Breakdown Network

This podcast episode discusses two recent articles focused on the positive potential of AI in politics, emphasising its capacity to enhance democracy by reducing campaign costs and levelling the playing field for candidates running for office.

The Case for More AI in Politics, 1 August 2023, Politico

Hear from a digital strategist who contends that the positive transformative impact of AI in politics is underway albeit subtly, citing AI-enhanced ads and other applications in the 2024 race, while also advocating for tech platforms to adopt a more adaptable stance.

Six Ways That AI Could Change Politics, 28 July 2023, MIT Technology Review

This article outlines six potential milestones for a new era of AI-infused politics, envisioning scenarios like AI-generated testimony, novel legislative amendments, and AI-driven political parties, highlighting the complex possibilities AI could introduce to reshape democratic politics.

Political Campaigns May Never Be the Same, 27 May 2023, The Atlantic

This article presents contrasting views on AI's influence on politics, discussing its potential to democratise campaigning and enhance accessibility, alongside apprehensions about AI misuse through deep fakes, misinformation, and election manipulation.

5. Threats & Bias: Dangers in using AI in political contexts, considerations when using AI technology, and the potential for malicious uses

AI Deepfakes Get Very Real as 2024 Election Season Begins, 31 January 2024, Fast Company

The article discusses the challenges AI deepfake technology presents to the 2024 election, highlighting incidents of disinformation and the need for legal adaptation to safeguard public discourse and personal reputations against the blurring lines between truth and falsehood.

How to Spot a Deepfake—and Prevent it from Causing Political Chaos, 29 January 2024, Science

The article examines the difficulty of detecting AI-generated deepfakes, showing that most people can't identify them better than chance, emphasising the importance of awareness and education to counteract their misleading effects.

Misunderstood Mechanics: How AI, TikTok, and the Liar’s Dividend Might Affect the 2024 Elections, 22 January 2024, Brookings

This article explores the nuanced impact of AI on misinformation and elections, questioning the extent of AI-generated misinformation fears, the role of platforms like TikTok in spreading misinformation, and the 'liar’s dividend' phenomenon.

Fake Biden Robocall ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ for AI Election Misinformation, 24 January 2024, The Hill

The article addresses the concern over AI in spreading election misinformation, as shown by a fake robocall impersonating President Biden, highlighting the debate on regulatory measures, the sophistication of AI tools, and efforts to combat AI-generated deception.

AI-Generated Fake News Is Coming to an Election Near You, 22 January 2024, Wired

The article explores the impact of AI-generated fake news on politics and elections, revealing challenges to democratic integrity through studies and examples of neural networks creating undetectable false narratives and deepfakes, underscoring the need for regulatory oversight.

Your Undivided Attention, How Will AI Affect the 2024 Elections?, 21 December 2023, Centre for Humane Technology

This podcast episode addresses the challenges and risks AI poses to global democracies in 2024, a pivotal election year, offering insights on protecting democratic integrity.

Artificial Intelligence’s Threat to Democracy, 3 January 2024, Foreign Affairs ($)

This article examines the escalating threat of AI-powered misinformation and cyberattacks on U.S. elections, calling for a united front among technology, government, and the public to bolster defenses from voter registration to result announcements.

The Dawn of the AI Election, 4 January 2024, Prospect Magazine

The article highlights the urgency of addressing the significant yet potentially perilous impact of AI on political campaigns and democratic integrity amidst the largest voter turnout in 2024, stressing the need for decisive action against its rapid evolution and misuse.

Raising the Democratic Shield, 13 December 2023, Democracy Technologies

The article by ACTE explores AI's impact on elections using the Slovakian case, emphasising the threat of AI-generated deep fakes and advocating for a strong European policy response alongside recognising AI's potential to boost democratic engagement.

Deepfake Elections: How Indian Politicians Are Using AI-Manipulated Media To Malign Opponents, 24 November 2023, Outlook

The article highlights the growing issue of deepfake videos in Indian politics, used to manipulate voters and distort democracy, with a call for urgent regulation to preserve electoral integrity, especially in light of the upcoming national elections.

‘Existential to Who?’ US VP Kamala Harris Urges Focus on Near-term AI Risks, 1 November 2023, Politico

During London’s AI Safety Summit, Kamala Harris emphasized the need to address immediate AI risks like deepfake abuse and biased AI, announcing U.S. commitments to safe AI practices, including a new AI Safety Institute and responsible military AI use.

A.I. Could Prove Disastrous for Democracy. How Can Philanthropy Prepare?, 23 October 2023, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The article highlights the risks of AI in undermining democracy and human agency, advocating for philanthropic investment in community organizing and AI usage that promotes human interaction to preserve democratic governance.

Generative AI is Already Catalyzing Disinformation. How Long Until Chatbots Manipulate Us Directly?, 23 October 2023, Tech Policy Press

The article underscores the risks of generative AI in political campaigns and its potential for manipulation, especially in undemocratic countries, advocating for proactive regulation and transparency ahead of the 2024 elections.

Joy Buolamwini: “We’re Giving AI Companies a Free Pass”, 29 October 2023, MIT Technology Review

AI researcher Joy Buolamwini delves into the racial biases of facial recognition technology and the exploitative data practices of AI firms, advocating for stringent testing and audits of AI systems and calling for united efforts to challenge the injustices perpetrated by tech giants.

AI was Asked to Create Images of Black African Docs Treating White Kids. How'd it Go?, 6 October 2023, NPR

This article reveals an AI experiment aimed at challenging stereotypes, which instead reinforced them by misrepresenting Black African doctors and white children, underscoring AI's propensity to perpetuate societal biases and the necessity for careful application in crafting campaign messages.

The AI Heretic, 18 September 2023, Business Insider

An expert in technology's economic impact cautions against AI's potential to benefit elites and leave many workers with low-wage jobs. He urges thoughtful regulation and development to empower workers and benefit society.

China Sets AI Sights on Democracies – Reports, 13 September 2023, Radio Free Asia

Recent reports reveal China's AI-driven disinformation efforts, with concerns about potential interference in elections, as AI-enhanced disinformation becomes more sophisticated and divisive, posing a grave threat to democratic processes.

Poll: Americans Believe AI Will Hurt Elections, 11 September 2023, Axios

A recent poll shows that half of Americans fear AI-generated misinformation will affect the 2024 election, leading one-third to express reduced trust in its results, highlighting concerns about AI's influence on public opinion and elections, alongside skepticism about effective AI regulation.

The Problem Behind AI’s Political ‘Bias’, 24 August 2023, Politico

Debate has arisen over political bias in AI tools, with a research paper suggesting a notable progressive bias facing criticism for methodological limitations, but underscoring the challenge of comprehending AI behaviour due to limited transparency from developers.

These Women Tried to Warn Us About AI, 12 August 2023, Rolling Stone

Prominent women in AI raised early concerns about AI risks due to the lack of diversity in development, noting biases and societal prejudices perpetuated by AI systems, with companies initially overlooking these concerns despite research exposing biassed algorithms.

AI Botched Their Headshots, 8 August 2023, Wall Street Journal

AI-generated professional headshots are becoming popular among young workers, but biases in the technology's training data are causing problems for women of colour by lightening skin tones, altering hairstyles, and changing facial features.

Disinformation Reimagined: How AI Could Erode Democracy in the 2024 US Elections, 19 July 2023, The Guardian

AI's progress raises concerns about disinformation threatening democracy prior to the 2024 US elections, as easy production of realistic content makes detection difficult, potentially eroding trust in news sources and exacerbating voter suppression campaigns.

British Political Candidate Uses Artificial Intelligence to Draw up Election Manifesto, 19 July 2023, U.S. News and World Report

A candidate for UK Parliament has utilised AI to formulate his election manifesto, integrating constituents' sentiments via crowdsourcing and machine learning to generate policies, raising concerns about diminishing human representatives and oversimplification of complex matters.

AI Version of Francis Suarez Hits Digital Campaign Trail but Doesn’t Have all the Answers, 6 July 2023, Miami Herald

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has launched an AI chatbot for his campaign, responding in his voice and providing information about his agenda, but with a limited set of answers and noted shortcomings in addressing certain topics.

Fakery and Confusion: Campaigns Brace for Explosion of AI in 2024, 18 June 2023, Politico

Campaign strategists anticipate AI-generated content in the 2024 elections, highlighting the need to educate voters to recognise and combat AI-powered misinformation due to limited AI regulations, while Democratic operatives express scepticism about pre-election regulations.

Humans Aren’t Mentally Ready for an AI-Saturated ‘Post-Truth World’, 18 June 2023, Wired

The rising integration of AI in society is prompting worries about its effects on mental well-being, as it enables disinformation which could undermine trust and personal identity, and impact critical thinking skills, requiring more research into the psychological consequences of AI.

How AI Could Take Over Elections—And Undermine Democracy, 7 June 2023, Scientific American

This article imagines an AI-driven political campaign where a machine named Clogger employs personalised messaging and reinforcement learning to manipulate voter behaviour, raising alarms about democratic erosion while advocating for privacy protection and regulatory oversight.

On With Kara Swisher: A.I. Doomsday with Tristan Harris, 25 May 2023, New York Magazine

Tech journalist Kara Swisher interviews Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, in a podcast exploring AI risks honestly without instilling fear, offering insights on the complex topic and serving as an excellent introduction to the evolving AI landscape.

‘Cambridge Analytica on Steroids’: Artificial Intelligence is About to Change our Democracy, 19 May 2023, Inews

Experts warn of the harmful impact of AI on democracy due to its capacity for deep fakes and misinformation spread, highlighting the necessity for regulations, transparency, and testing, as well as a suggested pause in AI's use in UK political campaigns until a framework is established.

The World of Campaigning is About to Change Forever, 17 May 2023, Medium

This article explores the possible effects of large language models on political campaigns, advocating for proper regulation due to risks such as privacy concerns, automated decision-making, and public opinion manipulation.

What the President of Signal Wishes You Knew About A.I. Panic, 16 May 2023, Slate

Meredith Whittaker, president of the Signal and co-founder of the AI Now Institute, underscores concerns about the current dangers of AI controlled by profit-driven corporations, highlighting issues like data bias, accountability, and concentrated power over more existential concerns.

A Campaign Aide Didn’t Write That Email. A.I. Did., 28 March 2023, The New York Times

The article discusses the accelerating use of AI in political campaigns for tasks like predictive analysis and voter data patterns, while also highlighting the potential disruption caused by AI-driven disinformation campaigns that challenge the concept of truth.

How Generative AI Impacts Democratic Engagement, 21 March 2023, Brookings

Researchers caution that the rise of large language models, exemplified by ChatGPT, poses a democracy threat due to their potential to create high-quality content, automate an overwhelming volume of text, and drown authentic public opinion.

6. Impact on Society: The way AI will change the landscape of our society and the new injustices we will likely need to fight

Silicon Valley Insiders are Trying to Unseat Biden with Help from AI, 18 January 2024, Washington Post

Silicon Valley insiders have formed a super PAC, "We Deserve Better," to support Dean Phillips against President Biden using an AI chatbot, showcasing the growing role of AI in politics and sparking debates on the growing influence of tech entrepreneurs in American political strategies.

Make no mistake—AI is owned by Big Tech, 5 December 2023, MIT Technology Review

The article highlights the dominance of Big Tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google in the AI industry, emphasizing the risks of concentrated power, the lack of alternatives for AI development, and the potential threats to democracy, culture, and agency.

Today in Focus: He’s Back - Sam Altman and the Chaos at the Heart of the AI Industry, 26 November 2023, The Guardian

Blake Montgomery's podcast episode explores Sam Altman's brief dismissal and reinstatement as head of OpenAI, reflecting on the internal uproar it caused and hinting at a possible shift from altruistic to profit-driven motives in AI development which could have big implications.

Ten Ways AI Will Change Democracy, 6 November 2023, Harvard Kennedy School

This essay discusses ten ways AI could reshape democracy, including roles as educators and legislators, highlighting the rapid evolution of AI technology and its growing integration into democratic processes.

AI Firms Must Be Held Responsible for Harm They Cause, ‘Godfathers’ of Technology Say, 24 October 2023, The Guardian

Senior AI experts warn of the dangers of powerful AI systems and advocate for policies enforcing accountability, safety measures, and ethical development, including a licensing system and independent audits.

How Musk, Thiel, Zuckerberg, and Andreessen—Four Billionaire Techno-Oligarchs—Are Creating an Alternate, Autocratic Reality, 22 August 2023, Vanity Fair

Billionaires like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marc Andreessen are influencing a new reality through AI, transhumanism, and other radical ventures, causing concern about the power concentration in these techno-oligarchs and the potential for significant social disruption.

How Unions Can Use ChatGPT and Generative AI for Growth, 29 July 2023, AlexWhite.org

Labour unions could leverage generative AI for growth, communication, campaigns, and operations, while being mindful of ethical considerations, by utilising it for creating content, summarising meetings, analysing text, extending education, and improving member services.

‘High Risk, High Reward’: How Leadership Should Embrace AI in the Workforce, 7 June 2023, Worklife

AI is rapidly reshaping the future of work, and leadership should embrace and adapt to AI for organisational success, with the article noting effective leaders will be those who understand how to utilise AI tools responsibly and ethically, and invest in employee re-skilling.

Eating Disorder Helpline Fires Staff, Transitions to Chatbot After Unionization, 25 May 2023, Vice

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has replaced its helpline staff with a chatbot named Tessa shortly after staff unionised, leading to a controversy where NEDA claims AI will improve services while union members see it as union-busting.

The Long Game Between Writers and AI, 10 May 2023, Politico

The Writers Guild of America strike involves concerns about generative AI as it seeks to prohibit AI's involvement in writing, reflecting growing anxiety about automation's impact on the entertainment industry, leading to a greater emphasis on establishing rules for AI use.

7. Regulation

a. European Regulation

Five Things You Need to Know About the EU’s New AI Act, 11 December 2023, MIT Technology Review

The EU's new AI Act, focusing on "high-risk" AI systems, mandates transparency, ethics, and human oversight in AI use, establishes an AI Office for enforcement, and exempts military AI, giving tech companies up to two years for compliance.

Deepfake Election Risks Trigger EU Call for More Generative AI Safeguards, 26 September 2023, Tech Crunch

The EU is expressing concerns about the impact of widely available generative AI tools on democratic societies, particularly during elections, and is calling for additional safeguards to address AI-generated disinformation while working on future regulations that may necessitate user disclosures.

Banning AI: How EU Regulation Might Affect Your Party, 4 July 2023, Party.party

Proposed EU AI regulations, designed to tackle issues like stereotype reinforcement and cognitive manipulation, could impact on political campaigns by limiting targeted voter outreach, access to sentiment analysis data, and imposing transparency demands on AI algorithms.

Digital Europe: Sandboxing the AI Act, June 2023

DigitalEurope's Pre-Regulatory Sandboxing Initiative assesses the impact of the proposed AI Act on European start-ups and SMEs, revealing support for regulatory clarity but concerns about innovation slowdown, compliance costs, and international competitiveness.

Europeans Take a Major Step Toward Regulating A.I., 14 June 2023, The New York Times

The European Parliament has advanced the A.I. Act draft law, a comprehensive attempt to mitigate AI risks with strict restrictions on facial recognition and increased data transparency for AI developers, showcasing Europe's leading efforts in AI regulation compared to other nations.

b. US & Canada Regulation

The Campaign to Take Down the Biden AI Executive Order, 26 January 2024, Politico

This article explores attempts to undermine President Biden's AI executive order, featuring opposition from tech lobbyists, GOP lawmakers, and debates over using emergency powers for AI regulation, amidst broader tensions on national security and private enterprise regulation.

States Act, but Can Legislation Slow AI-Generated Election Disinformation?, 27 October 2023, Governing

As the US enters a contentious election season, there's growing concern over AI-generated misinformation and debate about whether the tech sector or congressional regulation should lead in addressing it, amid challenges in state-level legislation.

Canada’s AI Regulation is Moving Fast and Breaking (Legislative Process) Things, 3 October 2023, LinkedIn

Canada's proposed artificial intelligence law, AIDA, is under scrutiny for its hasty legislative process, with critics accusing the government of adopting an "agile" approach, potentially lacking adequate regulation and contextual consideration for the diverse applications of AI.

CEOs Tell Senators: Time to Regulate AI, 14 September 2023, Axios

CEOs, including Musk, Gates, Zuckerberg, and Altman, stressed the need for government AI regulation in a closed-door Senate briefing in D.C., yet the secrecy and CEO questioning limits prompted criticism, led by Senator Warren calling for transparency.

FEC to Consider New Rules for AI in Campaigns, 10 August 2023, The Hill

The Federal Election Commission has unanimously agreed to consider a proposal by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to extend anti-"fraudulent misrepresentation" laws to deceptive AI-generated campaign communications, including generative AI and deepfakes.

The AI Rules that US Policymakers are Considering, Explained, 1 August 2023, Vox

The US government is engaging with AI policies and regulations, as evidenced by Biden's announcements, safety commitments from AI companies, and the Senate’s proposed approach, spanning developer rules, regulatory enforcement, research funding, and workforce initiatives.

Schumer, Humbled by AI, Crafts Crash Course for Senate, 18 July 2023, Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer intends to conduct a series of nine "AI Insight Forums" aimed at educating Congress about AI before regulating it, acknowledging the complexities of the technology, and thereby postponing comprehensive AI regulations until at least 2024.

Deepfake Ads Strain Pre-AI Campaign Laws, Puzzling US Regulators, 17 July 2023, Bloomberg Law

Growing apprehension surrounds the use of deepfake images and videos in political campaigns especially following Ron DeSantis’ recent use of a deepfake in his campaign, as advocacy groups call for federal intervention due to a deadlock at the FEC regarding regulations.

Congress wants to regulate AI. Big Tech is Eager to Help, 5 July 2023, Los Angeles Times

Congress aims to regulate AI, yet faces difficulties in comprehending the swiftly evolving technology while tech companies lobby for regulations balancing existential threats and benefits, but concerns persist this distracts from current fundamental and systemic AI threats.

A.I.’s Use in Elections Sets Off a Scramble for Guardrails, 25 June 2023, The New York Times

The increasing use of AI in political campaigns is prompting debates over regulations, as politicians are using AI for generating campaign content, while concerns about disinformation and manipulation are driving efforts to establish safeguards such as disclaimers on political ads.

WIRED Business (Spoken Edition): Politicians Need to Learn How AI Works - Fast, 19 May 2023, WIRED

Missy Cummings discusses the need for policymakers to understand AI's concepts and impacts, outlining her course at George Mason University aimed at educating regulators about AI's risks and effects, urging politicians to become well-versed in AI for informed governance decisions.

Congress Wants To Regulate AI, But It Has a lot of Catching Up To Do, 15 May 2023, NPR

Drafting legislation aimed at regulating AI and mitigating its potential negative consequences are complicated by challenges such as AI's rapid evolution, historical struggles in regulating emerging technologies, and computer science and law expertise gaps among lawmakers.

c. Global Approach to Regulation 

Meta Will Enforce Ban on AI-powered Political Ads in Every Nation, No Exceptions, 30 November 2023, ZDNet

Meta has implemented a global ban on using its generative AI advertising tools for political campaigns and sensitive issues, as it assesses risks and builds safeguards amid expanding AI capabilities and upcoming elections in several nations.

Minding the AI Power Gap: The Urgency of Equality for Global Governance, 17 November 2023, Tech Policy Press

The article emphasises the need for equitable and inclusive global AI governance to address potential inequalities and power imbalances, advocating for the involvement of diverse stakeholders and fair distribution of AI benefits.

A Patchwork of Rules and Regulations Won’t Cut it for AI, 5 November 2023, The Hill

This opinion piece praises AI's potential in sectors like healthcare and clean energy, while advocating for international regulatory harmony to avoid fragmentation and promote responsible AI development aligned with democratic values.

‘When Regulating Artificial Intelligence, We Must Place Race and Gender at the Center of the Debate’, 14 September 2023, El País

Brazilian anthropologist Fernanda K. Martins highlights algorithmic discrimination on digital platforms and advocates for a more inclusive approach to regulating AI and digital platforms, with a focus on race and gender, to address systemic issues like misinformation and hate speech.

Whose AI Revolution?, 1 September 2023, Project Syndicate

Divergent approaches to AI regulation are emerging worldwide, with the US, EU, and China each promoting their distinct models. Achieving international coordination is essential to establish consistent standards and promote equitable AI access, but remains challenging.

Who Will Win the War over Artificial Intelligence: Digital Tech or Global Powers?, 20 August 2023, Politics Today

The evolving global power dynamics, including the rise of new contenders like China and India, and the significant role of tech giants in geopolitical events are discussed in the context of global AI regulations, particularly Europe's AI Act, China's AI measures, and the US's regulatory lag.

The AI Power Paradox, 16 August 2023, Foreign Affairs

This article envisions the year 2035, where AI's advancements coexist with substantial risks, underscoring AI’s potential while necessitating governance to mitigate its challenges using principles such as precaution, agility, inclusivity, and targeting, to create a global model.

Don’t Use Deliberative Democracy to Distract From Regulation, 3 August 2023, Democracy Technologies

OpenAI and Meta are advocating for global citizens' assemblies to regulate AI, funding deliberative processes to establish rules, but scepticism arises in their motivations and conflicts of interest, leading to debates on the authenticity of these initiatives as democratic endeavours.

d. Non-governmental and Industry Regulation

OpenAI Suspends Bot Developer for Presidential Hopeful Dean Phillips, 20 January 2024, The Washington Post

OpenAI suspended a bot developer for the presidential campaign of Dean Phillips, marking its first enforcement against the political use of its AI tools, in response to concerns over the misuse of technology in election campaigning.

OpenAI Will Roll Out New Tools to Thwart Election Misinformation, 15 January 2024, Bloomberg

OpenAI introduces new initiatives, including provenance information for Dall-E images and real-time citations for ChatGPT content, to combat misinformation in upcoming US and global elections, aiming to enhance transparency and trust in AI-generated content.

OpenAI Won’t Let Politicians Use its Tech for Campaigning, for Now, 15 January 2024, Washington Post ($)

OpenAI has announced policies to prevent the misuse of its AI technologies in political campaigning and misinformation, including not allowing its tech for political applications and introducing watermarks for AI-generated images, amid global concerns over AI's role in election integrity.

To Help 2024 Voters, Meta Says it will Begin Labeling Political Ads that use AI-generated Imagery, 9 November 2023, AP News

Meta's new policy mandates disclosure of AI-generated imagery in political ads on Facebook and Instagram, as part of broader initiatives by tech companies like Microsoft's digital watermark, to combat AI-assisted disinformation in politics.

Giving Workers Power to Thrive in the Face of New Technology, 1 November 2023, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Valerie Wilson's article emphasises the role of policy and unions in ensuring equitable distribution of benefits from AI and automation, highlighting the need for stronger labor standards to combat rising inequalities exacerbated by Big Tech's influence.

Artists Across Industries are Strategizing Together Around AI Concerns, 7 October 2023, Tech Crunch

#AIdayofaction, led by Fight for the Future and musicians' labor groups, advocates for measures to prevent corporations from gaining copyrights on AI-generated art, to protect human creativity and maintain artists' involvement in the creative process amid AI's growing influence.

How the Hollywood Writer’s Strike Will Impact the Wider World of Work, 3 October 2023, Fast Company

The general secretary of UNI Global Union highlights the influence of the Hollywood writers' strike, where the WGA's wins in technology, job security, and fair compensation resonate with workers in various fields, emphasising the important precedent for broader labour protections.

Workers Could be the Ones to Regulate AI, 2 October 2023, Financial Times

While the AI regulation debate has typically been top-down, the WGA's negotiation of rules for AI use in the entertainment industry shows that a bottom-up approach, giving workers a say in AI use and transparency, can shape AI regulation and may serve as a model for future efforts.

Hollywood Writers’ Strike Ends with First-Ever Protections Against AI, 26 September 2023, Venture Beat

The Hollywood writers' strike has concluded with an agreement that includes strong protections against AI in screenwriting, ensuring that AI cannot independently create or modify literary material and that its use must remain at the discretion of human writers.

Google to Require Disclosures of AI Content in Political Ads, 8 September 2023, CNN

Starting in November, Google will require political ads to prominently disclose their use of AI-generated content in a "clear and conspicuous" manner, reflecting growing concerns about the spread of AI-generated misinformation in political campaigns.

AI-Generated Election Content Is Here, And The Social Networks Aren’t Prepared, 6 July 2023, Forbes

AI-generated content presents a challenge for social media platforms during elections, as the absence of regulations leads platforms to grapple with self-regulation and containment of misinformation, with transparency measures like those on TikTok falling short.

UK to Host First Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence, 7 June 2023, Gov.uk

The UK has organised an inaugural global summit on AI safety, uniting countries, tech firms, and researchers to address AI risks, enable international cooperation, and advance responsible AI development, aligning with the nation's dedication to leadership in AI safety endeavours.

OpenAI Told DC Company it Can't Pitch Using ChatGPT for Politics, 17 May 2023, Semafor

OpenAI has intervened to restrict Washington, D.C.-based company FiscalNote from using ChatGPT for political advertising, limiting its use to grassroots advocacy campaigns and implementing measures to monitor and classify text related to electoral campaigns.

Disclaimer: The image used in this article was partially generated by AI and augmented by our design team.