Down-ballot campaigns short of digital staff can use generative AI tools to battle online trolls. Cheryl Hori, a Democratic digital consultant, suggested that cash-strapped campaigns turn to AI tools to help them with “community management.”
“Especially if you’re in a race where maybe there are a lot of trolls, or folks who are commenting,” she said during a panel hosted by C&E. “I know that especially down-ballot, it takes a lot of capacity for campaigns [to manage online comments]. And I think October of the year before, they might not have the capacity for an internal social media person to be managing everything.”
California-based Hori suggested that campaigns use AI tools like ChatGPT to create a template or list of responses for when they’re being inundated with comments, whether it’s on their ads or social postings.
“It sounds personal, it doesn’t sound canned, but it’s prepared and it’s something they can drop in so they don’t have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.
Aaron Evans of Winning Republican Strategies, who joined Hori on the online panel, said that candidates can also ask generative AI tools for responses to potential attacks or to weigh the effectiveness of potential arguments.
“You’ve got a forum coming up, you can even ask it what are some things to be prepared for with X, Y, Z especially if you have some topics,” he said, noting that detailed prompts are key to getting good responses from the platform.
“For a campaign that can’t afford a consulting team, it’s really powerful and at least just giving you something to create that contrast,” he said.
Evans added: “Always do a human edit at the end.”
Tate Holcombe, creative director at GOP firm Go BIG Media, Inc., estimated that campaigns may be experimenting with 10-12 AI tools this cycle, which he said was “too many.”
That will likely decrease after the 2024 cycle.
“I don’t think we’ll see that after next year,” Holcombe said. “There will be fewer that will be in the political space because it will all kind of solidified into: ‘These are tools you use,’ sort of thing. But right now, it’s still sort of the Wild West.”