“What if the weakest president we’ve ever had were re-elected?” the video poses right off the bat. Apparently we’d see a lot more cliche AI-generated art. Republicans have waged a full-on attack against President Joe Biden — who just announced his re-election campaign for 2024 today — with a scrapbook video of AI-generated images portraying a bleak portrait of America under Biden’s rule.
The video, titled “Beat Biden,” was released on the Republican National Committee’s official YouTube account this morning, shortly after Biden announced his re-election campaign for next year’s presidential race. The video illustrates just how bad the GOP thinks America could get under Biden’s thumb using all AI-generated imagery. Despite the best efforts from the country’s best and brightest Republicans (who are few and far between), the images in “Beat Biden” resemble less of a scathing political critique, and more like something ripped from the movie adaption of a typical young adult dystopian novel. Selected works include sensationalised images of China invading Taiwan, the economy collapsing, immigrants flocking across America’s borders, and a rising crime and opioid crisis.
The GOP didn’t explicitly mention what AI platform was used to generate the images seen in the video, and present nothing more than “Built entirely with AI imagery” to serve as a disclaimer in the upper left-hand corner of the advertisement. As The Verge reports, the party probably didn’t use Midjourney or DALL-E 2, as those AI generators attempt to limit politicized outputs and prompts. It’s very possible that the GOP used Stable Diffusion, a DALL-E 2 competitor that lets users create any images they want — yes, that includes inflammatory political content such as “Beat Biden.”
While “Beat Biden” is a hare-brained attempt to drum up opposition against the incumbent candidate, it does point to a growing issue with the AI hype train’s place in politics. Prior to the arrest of Truth Social founder Donald Trump earlier this month, AI-generated images of cops aggressively detaining him began to spread across the Internet. If you looked close enough, it was clear that the images were fake, since they have that signature soft, air-brushed quality so much AI imagery has. However it’s not a stretch to think that an untrained eye could believe that these images are real, especially in the emotional anticipation of a former president being arrested.
Making pictures of Trump getting arrested while waiting for Trump’s arrest. pic.twitter.com/4D2QQfUpLZ
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) March 20, 2023
Shortly after the Trump arrest hoax photos went viral, the platform used to generate those images, Midjourney, halted free trials citing “extraordinary demand and trial abuse.” Midjourney told Gizmodo at the time that shutting off access to the generator had nothing to do with the arrest photos — or the simultaneous photos of the Pope rocking Balenciaga — but was instead a result of people making throwaway accounts to abuse the free trial. Regardless, the Beat Biden, Trump arrest, and hypebeast Pope incidents illustrate a clear need for AI generators to do something to signal what’s real and what’s not — especially if the upcoming 2024 election will be as contentious as 2020 and 2016.
Want to know more about AI, chatbots, and the future of machine learning? Check out our full coverage of artificial intelligence, or browse our guides to The Best Free AI Art Generators, The Best ChatGPT Alternatives, and Everything We Know About OpenAI’s ChatGPT.