With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), governments, corporations and political campaigns alike are scrambling to figure out how to best utilize the new technology. Want to know how it will all end? Pay attention to the 2024 election and how campaigns leverage this technology.
While it’s easy to mock political campaigns as dry, templatized and old-fashioned, the past 15 years have shown us that campaigns serve as laboratories of innovation that spur significant marketing and data changes in private industry.
Looking back at the Barack Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012, they mastered the art of using social media for grassroots organizing, online ad targeting, and fundraising. In 2016, the Donald Trump campaign drove a digital-first media strategy that drove old school consultants crazy, but paid dividends and gave them a distinct advantage over the Hillary Clinton campaign.
For instance, the Republican National Committee (RNC) utilized generative AI in a recent ad that depicted what America could look like under a second Biden term. The RNC openly took credit for their ethical use of AI technology, which is exactly what candidates, campaign committees and Super PACs should do when using new AI technology.
In a fight for their lives, sophisticated political campaigns must be laboratories of innovation, where new technologies and strategies can be tested and refined. And while governments, lawmakers, and major corporations squabble over how to best utilize and regulate artificial intelligence, campaigns will already be working to exploit the technology – and using it in ways that are difficult to conceptualize.
But how will campaigns utilize this new technology now at their disposal? That’s what corporations should be paying extra close attention to – for learnings from both the good, bad and the ugly use of AI.
At our firm, we have been employing machine learning to target potential voters and donors for campaigns for years. AI technology is taking our data-centric approach to the next level, which is why we view these technological advances as a major opportunity.
So, while governments, lawmakers, and major corporations squabble over the how to best utilize and regulate artificial intelligence, the smartest campaigns will already be pioneering AI and working to exploit the technology – and using it in ways that give their candidate an advantage on the 2024 political battlefield.