In response to President Joe Biden’s official announcement on Tuesday of his bid for reelection in 2024, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released an ad that uses artificial intelligence to conjure up imaginary but visually convincing scenarios of a dystopian future to frighten U.S. citizens out of voting for Biden and his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris.
The first 100% AI-generated ad from the official Republican election body, dubbed “Beat Biden,” portrays a fake celebration by Biden and Harris following a 2024 win, followed by a montage of fake catastrophic news stories, with images, including: “an emboldened China invades Taiwan,” “financial markets are in freefall as 500 banks have shuttered their doors,” “border agents were overwhelmed by a surge of 80,000 illegals yesterday,” and “officials closed the city of San Francisco this morning, citing the escalating crime and fentanyl crisis.”
The 30-second video ad includes only a tiny, barely perceptible message in the upper lefthand corner stating: “Built entirely with AI imagery.”
Politicians and pundits disagreed on the effectiveness of the ad.
“The RNC’s response to the Biden announcement suggests that they still haven’t figured out an argument against Biden that makes sense to anyone outside of the MAGA media bubble,” said former Obama White House official and co-host of Pod Save America Dan Pfeiffer.
“In incredibly telling fashion, the RNC had to *make up* images because, quite simply, they can’t argue with President Biden’s results,” the Democratic National Committee said in a statement criticizing the ad.
A Republican strategist not affiliated with the RNC told The Hill he deemed the ad effective because it plays on fears about issues like crime and the economy.
“Biden is so out-of-touch that after creating crisis after crisis, he thinks he deserves another four years,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement accompanying the release of the ad. “If voters let Biden ‘finish the job,’ inflation will continue to skyrocket, crime rates will rise, more fentanyl will cross our open borders, children will continue to be left behind, and American families will be worse off. Republicans are united to beat Biden and Americans are counting down the days until they can send Biden packing.”
The RNC’s extensive use of AI out of the gate appears to portend use of the potentially dangerous tool throughout the campaign, at least by Republicans.
In the 2020 election won by Biden, the Trump campaign frequently used misleading imagery in ads that aimed to play on people’s concerns about crime, such as using video of a police officer being attacked by protestors that was actually footage from demonstrations in Ukraine, not the U.S.