Feb 6, 2024 - Politics

How AI is helping one Colorado candidate in the 2024 election

A screenshot of Victor Bencomo's campaign newsletter.

A screenshot of Victor Bencomo's campaign newsletter.

One image depicted a community meeting with signs calling for "sensible gun legislation."

  • Another struck a Christmas theme and asked supporters to "deck the halls with donations." And a third showed people gathered at a coffee shop for a "casual coffee with Victor" event.

What's happening: All three photos in Victor Bencomo's December newsletter for his state House District 8 campaign were fake β€” generated instead by artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: The images are just one example of how Colorado candidates are using AI in the 2024 election.

Zoom in: Even though seemingly banal β€” and obviously artificial β€” none of Bencomo's images came with disclaimers about their source. When asked about them, the Democrat didn't deny their origins.

  • He told us that he feels comfortable with the fake images because they appeared in his newsletter and were not used for other campaign purposes.
  • Bencomo said AI is helpful for smaller-budget campaigns. "I definitely used AI to create images so I wouldn't need to spend money on a technical architect," he said in an interview.

The intrigue: Given his background as an information technology project manager, Bencomo is concerned about AI's impacts and supports legislation to mitigate potential misuse.

  • "Here we are with a very new technology that has not been well regulated … and that could be used for nefarious acts," he said.
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