(IntegrityPress.org) – Democrats unveiled the first AI-bot designed to make cold calls to voters and answer questions. Democratic challenger Shamaine Daniels is seeking to unseat Republican Rep. Scott Perry who currently represents the 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. In their prior bout during the 2022 midterm elections, Perry beat Daniels by 8 points. This time around she’ll have a new weapon in her arsenal.
“Ashley” is an interactive AI conjured by Civox, a San Francisco and London-based startup. It can answer questions about Daniels or Perry, inform voters of her policy positions, and has a slightly metallic voice to clearly indicate she’s a bot. Test calls indicated that was a more honest approach and made voters feel more comfortable than if they attempted to simulate a normal human voice, according to Politico.
The House race is contentious with the gap between Republicans and Democrats increasingly narrow, especially after the ouster of Republican George Santos.
Ashley has the distinct advantage of being able to make thousands of calls in a day, perfect recall, and can tailor her conversational style based on any information she might be programmed with about the individuals she’s calling. She also doesn’t feel sad if someone is mean to her or hangs up.
Civox CEO Ilya Mouzykantskii said he anticipates they can scale up quickly, making “tens of thousands of calls a day” by the end of the year and entering six-digit territory shortly thereafter. Seemingly interested in only supporting Democrats, Mouzykantskii reported that his company has reached out to the Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee.
Previously, Sam Altman, then-CEO of OpenAI testified before Congress that he was concerned by the powerful influence of AI-driving disinformation operations. The ability to deceive at-scale is under appreciated by legislators, he warned.
Mouzykantskii claims Ashley is programmed only with factual information about both the candidate and her opponent, but he’s also asking us to take his word for it. Politico noted that in its test calls, Ashley stayed on script, gave good biographical information and accurately relayed policy positions.
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