In some ways, the left side of the industry is testing the first-mover theory, which proposes that a business launching a service or product gets a competitive advantage by being the first to market.
The test case for the campaign industry, at least for Democrats, is Quiller, the AI-powered fundraising email drafting tool. It launched this summer with the backing of Higher Ground Labs, including poaching the incubator’s own Hillary Lehr as its CEO.
What will be interesting to would-be competitors are the challenges that Quiller is now addressing. To wit, Lehr recently said that one of the things the company has learned is the “rules of the road” when it comes to training a large language model.
“We’ve also been working at engaging with the community to understand what those rules of the road are and what privacy protections and use cases and training modules to remove bias, for example, need to be in place for these tools to actually help and support campaigns and teams … which is important any time you’re introducing new technology into the space,” Lehr said.
The balance between privacy and deploying AI tools will certainly be a continued struggle. But another area where Quiller and its affiliated fundraising company Authentic are notching progress — again for the left side of the industry — is how its AI tools relate to collective bargaining agreements.
Authentic’s staff are unionized and represented by the Campaign Workers Guild. On Oct. 2, Authentic Union announced it had reached a deal with management on AI usage in the workplace. It’s a noteworthy milestone as AI usage in creative workplaces was a central cause of the lengthy Writers Guild of America strike against the Hollywood studies, and the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
The agreement, in a nutshell, amounts to management and the union agreeing to consult one another on how Quiller is deployed at Authentic and an “explicit commitment” that it won’t be used to eliminate jobs.