“AI & The 2024 Election”: Susan Gonzales with AIandYou.org (Video + Transcript)

April 12, 2024

AI is playing a significant role in the 2024 election and others. Understanding how AI can impact your vote and what you need to do to protect it is more important than ever. Susan Gonzales (AIandYou CEO & Founder) will discuss why this election is different, what you should expect with AI, and how to protect your vote. Women and other marginalized communities greatly influenced recent elections – now is the time to understand the impact.


In this ELEVATE session, Susan Gonzales, founder of AIandYou, discusses the importance of AI literacy and the impact of AI on elections. She explains the difference between predictive AI, which predicts behavior and makes recommendations, and generative AI, which uses prompts to generate content.

Susan highlights the issue of misinformation in elections, particularly through deep fakes, and the importance of researching and verifying information before believing or sharing it. Be curious and cautious when engaging with AI and to seek out trusted sources of information.

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Susan Gonzales ELEVATE there are no rules regulations or consequences related to creating false information and to protect voters

Transcript of ELEVATE session:

Susan Gonzales:

Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for having me join this great conversation. I’m super excited to know that there’s just a lot of women out there. I love that. Let me give you a snapshot of where I’m coming from. I was at… I was in tech at Facebook where I learned about AI, believe it or not, almost nine years ago.

I thought it was really cool technology because it was allowing the blind community to access the platform. And so I became really intrigued with the idea. when I left the company about five years ago, I launched AIandYou specifically to educate marginalized communities about AI, its challenges and its risks. And marginalized communities really are defined as women, people of color, LGBTQ, disabled and others.

I’m super excited to be having this conversation with you today about AI and misinformation in the election and also to plant the seed about AI literacy. I’ll talk a bit about that and then we’ll jump into the election.

AI literacy really is about creating a basic understanding of AI. For example, we’re not talking about becoming a data scientist or anything like that. What we’re talking about is to encourage you and hopefully plant a seed of curiosity to learn more about what’s happening. AI, as we know, it’s not coming later. It’s here now and there are a couple things to understand.

There’s predictive AI, which is the AI that we use every time we touch our device. Someone asked me, “Well, what time did I start using AI, Susan?” I said, “Well, what time did you log on?” The minute we start clicking, we are engaging in AI. It’s made a lot of things really convenient for us. That’s called predictive AI because it predicts our behavior and then it recommends the movie or it recommends the jeans we like or that type of thing.

The other AI you may have heard about recently is generative AI. Generative AI is a large language model and that is based on prompts that we type in and they pull from essentially a virtual library of information. It’s not an internet search, so it’s not a cut and paste situation. There’s not articles. You could type in like write me a thousand word essay on World War II, or what’s the best recipe for whatever, or what’s the best way to entertain five year olds on a scavenger hunt? I mean, literally everything you could possibly imagine.

I share that specifically to encourage everybody to explore generative AI. Most people may have heard about ChatGPT. That’s a fantastic one. There’s also Google Gemini, which was just released. They had a little kinks, but I want to share something about ChatGPT. There was an article recently that noted that 70% of the users to date, which is about 18 months of ChatGPT, are men. That’s a bad sign.

I just want to encourage you and I’d be happy to talk some other time more in depth about generative AI specifically, but that is directly related to the election, is to really explore what’s out there and not be afraid of it. The fear can be paralyzing, especially for educators. I mean, it’s very scary, but now is the time to learn. For people who are admin assistants, or paralegals, or any kind of repetitive skills, translators, they will be replaced. Those jobs are starting to be replaced by AI.

Think about it. When was the last time you actually called customer service and you actually spoke to a person? All those jobs are changing. Now is the time to really have curiosity and just dive in and just start looking around.

Definitely feel free to visit our website. It’s aiandyou.org. We offer free content. It’s in small bits and pieces. It’s not meant to be a long course. It’s very simple, short and easy to understand language and to help you understand about all different aspects of AI.

Today we’re talking about misinformation in the election and what I’d like to do is show you a very short video. It’s about four and a half minutes. This will give you a clear snapshot of what we’re talking about and then I’ll be back. Give me one minute. We’ll load that up. Okay. Let’s see. Well, that didn’t work. I’m not familiar so much with what this is called, Airmeet. Huh. I think it’s this. Yeah, this is a problem. I cannot get to it. Let me see. No, it’s not working. Okay.

Amanda Beaty:

Susan, I can do it. I have the link you sent me.

Susan Gonzales:

Yeah, sorry about that. Unfortunately, I didn’t practice this, but now I have to get out of that. I want to stop presenting. Can you access that, Amanda?

Amanda Beaty:

I can, but I’m not sure I can share. Let’s see. Oops, I have too many links up in. Okay.

Susan Gonzales:

While Amanda’s looking into that, a couple of things I do want to share is when it comes to AI overall, it’s affecting and impacting us in so many different ways.

There are some beautiful benefits, especially in medicine. Look, I’m a breast cancer survivor and diagnosing it is getting better. We’ll come back to that. Okay, here we go.

Amanda Beaty:


Susan Gonzales:

Thank you.

Narrator on video:

Elections have always been about connecting with voters. Campaigns will try almost anything to get your attention and vote. The 2024 election will require you to protect your vote because of recent advancements in artificial intelligence, AI. So how exactly is AI influencing the 2024 election? Well, today we will cover three key things you should know about protecting your vote, but let’s begin with the big picture. Tools for voter engagement have evolved from telegrams to the internet. Enter 2024, and we find another player in the arena: advanced AI. The 2024 election is all about AI literacy. Voters need a basic understanding of how AI can impact their vote. AI is more than just technology. It reflects our society’s evolution. AI has been used in past campaigns to do things such as improve the accuracy of voter registration and voting systems, help campaigns target voters and optimize their messaging to reach voters.

Have you ever considered how recent technological advances have made your lives easier? Think about it. Today, you can grocery shop without ever going to the store. You can do many things today you could not do four years ago during the last presidential election. Well, how is this happening? AI powers all the new things we do on our devices. And how does AI work? AI needs data to work. So let’s dive into AI in your vote. Number one, instead of a one-size-fits-all campaign, AI enables hyper-personalized messaging, reaching voters with issues that matter most to them and swaying voters with true or false information. Analyzing voter data is invaluable. By analyzing real-time data, campaigns can adjust their strategy, making outreach more effective. The efficiency of AI is unmatched, but it’s not without its challenges. And the 2024 election will bring unprecedented amounts of disinformation to you, the voters. So what is misinformation or disinformation and how is it created?

To put it simply, misinformation is false. It is information created to trick voters. It is a campaign video created with AI to make you believe something about a candidate that is not true. It is a phone call that sounds like a candidate, but it is actually AI. It is a personalized fundraising letter created with AI. The most prevalent tool for misinformation is called deep fakes. Number two, know deep fakes. Deep fakes are hyper-realistic, but entirely fake content pieces that can be used to spread misinformation. In the past, creating a deep fake would require someone in technology, like someone who writes computer code. Not anymore. Deep fakes can be created by someone from their laptop at home. It’s becoming harder to differentiate accurate content from AI-generated ones and we won’t get there in time to navigate truth from fiction during this campaign season. The most troubling aspect of deep fakes is there are no guardrails to protect you as voters.

There are no rules, regulations, or consequences related to creating false information during the campaign to protect voters against false news, disinformation, or false narratives. Voters must independently research key issues to determine what is true and false. Undecided and new voters are expected to be the targets of political misinformation, which is critical given that the election is expected to be decided by a small percentage of voters in 2024.

Remember that not all AI in elections is misinformation. Campaigns also use AI for positive engagement. For example, virtual assistants or chat bots help answer voter inquiries, ensuring accessibility and connection. And local communities can easily leverage new AI tools to organize and mobilize voters. It begins with searching for the best options to meet your needs. The challenges of election misinformation are global issues at all levels of political campaigns. In Toronto, a candidate in the mayoral election who vowed to clear homeless camps released a set of campaign promises illustrated by AI, including fake dystopian images of people camped on a downtown street and a fabricated image of tents set up in a park.

Number three, what must you do to protect your right to vote based on accurate information? Well, the answer is do not believe anything you see, read, or hear until you have researched it. In the 2024 election, you will not be able to rely on any one source, whether it is online, on TV, or in the press. Deep fakes are not online only. Broadcast TV networks cannot alter political commercials, which could also be deep fakes. It won’t be easy, but do your research to protect your right to vote. To wrap it up, do not believe anything you see, read or hear in any election. Do your research. Seek trusted sources confirming political deep fakes. Most importantly, protect our democracy and protect your right to vote.

Speaker on video:

If you like this video, check out aiandyou.org. See you next time.

Susan Gonzales:

Thanks, Amanda. I want to point out one thing in that video, is that’s not my voice. It’s an AI augmented voice. I used an AI tool to create the voiceover and it took about five minutes. That’s just illustrative of how easy it is to create things this election.

As we stated, unfortunately, the technology has advanced so quickly that there has not been time to regulate it. It is somewhat of a free-for-all without any consequences. The good thing is some companies, very recently, within the last weeks, have announced that they’re not going to allow certain types of content, particularly using large language models. But then at the same time, people are still being allowed to use it.

The opportunity to target women and people of color, the two groups that have decided recent elections, is very high.

The question is how would “they”, how would the internet know I’m a woman? What’s our behavior? Our behavior online illustrates, it doesn’t tell somebody my name and address, but my behavior online likely communicates that I’m a Hispanic woman living in the Bay Area simply because of my clicks.

I just want to offer to be very careful this election on what you’re clicking on because the minute you click on something that you find intriguing and it’s a deep fake, then you’re going to continue to get more deep fakes from that particular source.

This is great timing to have this conversation because literally within the last 10 days two things have happened. One is there was a fake robo call from President Biden’s voice, encouraging people actually recently to not vote in the New Hampshire primary. After much research, they found who the person was and it was a magician who created the deep fake.

Then within the last week there was a deep fake with former President Trump surrounded by members of the black community. That posting got one million hits before anybody acknowledged and labeled it. It was AI generated. We are very important votes this … Well, every election, but particularly this election. This is a nonpartisan issue. This is a global issue. Not only can our US campaigns get involved, but also bad actors globally, foreign bad actors.

Be aware, protect your vote. Ask a lot of questions. Ask your friends if they have seen or what they have seen. And maybe it’s someone said, “Well, I’m going to rely on my local little newspaper. That it’s actually reporters writing the news.” I’m like, “Great.” Someone else said, “Well, I’m going to rely on the debates.” Everyone needs to have different sources this year because the election is unprecedented. It’s a digital election in an unprecedented fashion given the acceleration of AI.

I hope that was helpful. We don’t have much time for questions, but I certainly would be open to that. And again, feel free to reach out to me via aiandyou.org and stay in touch. We are launching new content for AI in education, for teachers and students. Also, AI in jobs for workers, followed by AI and health. Thank you so much for having me today and I hope this was helpful and gives you food for thought, but be curious. Be curious about AI. Thank you.

I don’t really see. Let me see. Be curious and careful someone said. That’s absolutely right. Yes, that’s the most important message of today, is to be careful. It’s interesting and it’s sad in a way that this is where we are, that we’re going to need to question everything. I’ll give you an example.

I am deeply embedded in the AI ecosystem. I’m living AI every day and about two months ago I saw on Instagram Taylor Swift promoting Le Creuset, the cookware, which I like. And for a moment I stopped and I thought, “Why would she be doing that?” And I almost clicked, but I didn’t. And then the next day I saw on the news that was a deep fake. There was another instance where it was Oprah and it was a deep fake about her promoting some weight loss gummies.

The other thing to look out for in general, beyond the election, but including the election, is if you notice, especially on different social media platforms, is there will be a celebrity and then there’s a voiceover like you just heard my voiceover, but they’re not matching the lips of the person. There’s this commercial of the voice of the celebrity, and it looks like the celebrity is, that’s what they’re saying, but it’s actually not them. As you can see, this can go a long way.

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