“Ashley” – the first AI chatbot created for conducting election campaigns

Over the past weekend in the USA, the Civox company launched its latest product: the chatbot “Ashley,” designed to conduct election campaigns and engage in campaign discussions with respondents. Ashley will be used by Shamaine Daniels, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, running for the US Congress in 2024. 

As conveyed by the creators of Ashley, it is the first AI tool based on generative artificial intelligence technology similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, dedicated entirely to political purposes. It is capable of conducting practically an infinite number of personalized one-on-one conversations simultaneously. Currently, it handles tens of thousands of connections per day, but the creators aim to reach a six-figure result. The bot’s task will be to profile voter groups and engage in conversations with them about electoral preferences, as well as activate participants within the Democrats’ candidate campaign. Like an experienced campaign volunteer, Ashley analyzes voter profiles to tailor conversations to key issues for them. 

Such use of AI raises many concerns in both the technological and political environments. Critics fear that it will reinforce misinformation in the polarized landscape of American politics, which is already grappling with deepfakes, fabricated videos, and images created using artificial intelligence algorithms. OpenAI CEO – Sam Altman, back in May, expressed concern before Congress about the ability of generative artificial intelligence to undermine the integrity of elections through interactive misinformation in one-on-one conversations with recipients. 

The development of artificial intelligence and the lack of legal acts regulating its political use suggests that the influence of AI on issues such as public opinion or election results will only grow in the future. Faced with this phenomenon, some countries, including the USA, are beginning to introduce appropriate standards. The question is whether human-managed legislative systems will keep pace with the development of artificial intelligence.