Pro-Bitcoin (BTC) presidential bidder Ron DeSantis has been tagged for apparently using artificial intelligence-generated images in an ad campaign smearing rival and former president Donald Trump.
It comes amid a rise in AI-generated deep fakes being used in political ads and movements in recent months.
On June 5, DeSantis’ campaign tweeted a video purporting to show Trump’s close support of Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to Trump when he was president of the United States.
Fauci is a contentious figure in GOP circles for, among other reasons, his handling of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which many deemed to be heavy-handed.
The video features a collage of real images depicting Trump and Fauci mixed in with what appears to be AI-generated images of the pair hugging with some depicting Trump appearing to kiss Fauci.
Twitter’s Community Notes feature — the platform’s community-driven misinformation-dispelling project — added a disclaimer to the tweet, saying it contained “AI-generated images."
AFP Fact Check, a department within the news agency Agence France-Presse, said the images had “the hallmarks of AI-generated imagery."
DeSantis and Trump are facing off to take the Republican nominee for president. DeSantis kicked off his bid last month in a Twitter Space and promised to “protect” Bitcoin. Current polling has him trailing Trump.
AI in the political sphere
Others in politics have used AI-generated media to attack rivals — and Trump’s campaign is even guilty of using AI to smear DeSantis.
Shortly after DeSantis announced his presidential bid, Trump posted a video mocking DeSantis’ Twitter-based announcement, using deepfaked audio to create a fake Twitter Space featuring the likeness of DeSantis, Elon Musk, George Soros, Adolf Hitler, Satan, and Trump.
In April, the Republican party released an ad with its predictions on what a second term for President Joe Biden would look like, which was packed with AI-generated images that depicted a dystopian future.
New Zealand politics has also recently featured AI-made media with the country’s opposing National Party using generated images to attack the ruling Labour Party in multiple social posts in May.