The followers of the senator of the National Action Party (PAN) Xóchitl Gálvez have mobilized on the networks in recent days to respond to the criticism coming from Morena, the political formation of the current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. To do this, they took the image and voice of the senator and, with the help of artificial intelligence, shaped her. The result is a false Gálvez responding to the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the former head of the capital’s government, Claudia Sheinbaum. Experts consulted by this newspaper reflect on the challenges and possibilities of using technology in the field of political communication.
Gálvez is one of the candidates to lead the Va por México alliance —made up of the PRI, PAN and PRD— facing the 2024 presidential elections. In one of the videos, the photograph of the senator gestures and comments: “Claudia (Sheinbaum) tells me that not any woman can be president, and she is right. She can’t who she doesn’t have with what, who needs help, who pretends to be who she isn’t. She can not who does not believe, who does not think of winning without thinking of competing (…) ”. In the background, epic music highlights the speech of the edited Gálvez. The innocent announcement spread by her followers — and whose editing can be done with easy-to-reach applications — reopens the debate about the future of her utilities.
Communication researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Felipe López believes that artificial intelligence will be one more tool in the arsenal of campaign and propaganda teams. But he believes that face-to-face contact is and will continue to be important in Mexico: “It is what really led López Obrador, first, to consolidate a movement the size of Morena; and, second, to win the 2018 elections so overwhelmingly.” The current president obtained around 30 million votes in the 2018 elections, with a campaign far removed from social networks and the internet.
Artificial intelligence, a double edge
The technology director (CTO) of the digital strategy agency Realithink, Iván Priego, believes that the success of a hypothetical professional campaign of these characteristics would depend “on the purpose of the action.” “If this promoted it as a communication option with its electorate and gave it a purpose, for example to talk about topics of interest to a certain population group, it would be interesting. But I think it was not positive, because the electorate would doubt who Xóchitl (Gálvez) is and who is not. He ceases to be human and human recognition is lost on a psychological level, ”he explains.
Priego affirms that the agencies use intelligence to get to know the public in a deeper way: tastes, reactions, feedback… “It is a fairly broad topic. We, who are dedicated to marketing, we see more powerful things in its use. One of them is that it can help us generate predictive sentiment analysis. And I think in the marketing Politically, it is a point where it should go, beyond meat integration”, he reflects. The CTO says that this positive characteristic could also have a negative use. “It can apply in both directions: you can wage a dirty war both on the part of artificial intelligence for a decontextualization of messages, and to achieve a duplication of a human being and the image of the message.” And he concludes: “The great challenge of artificial intelligence technology, in all its senses, is human ethics, and I think that is what will really define the future.”
The great challenge of artificial intelligence is human ethics
Iván Priego, technology director at Realithink
Gálvez, a lack of speech?
The image of the senator gesticulates again, this time, to respond to López Obrador. “Now the president, very maleHe says he doesn’t believe me. There will always be someone who does not believe you, who doubts your origins, your history and your dreams. There will always be someone who doubts your ability, your strength and your ideals (…)”. The pattern, in this second video, is the same: Gálvez’s image changes to an amalgamation of landscapes and animated characters, and the speech and music create the epic.
The PAN senator has achieved a strong media presence in recent weeks, partly due to her responses to criticism and the references that have been made by Morena. Gálvez began to monopolize for days the attention that López Obrador’s party had achieved with the advancement of his candidates. The UNAM investigator sees that, despite this attention, the senator is facing a mystery. “I think that the problem of Xóchitl (Gálvez) is closer to the construction of the message than to the technology used to circulate it. Until now, he has reinforced a semantic axis that is essentially directed at those who hate López Obrador, who are many and do not need convincing. But he has not done anything to win over those who support him, who are more and who perhaps do not see very favorably, for example, Marcelo (Ebrard) or Adán Augusto (López), and that perhaps they could vote for a woman other than Claudia (Sheinbaum)”, explains López.
The senator’s followers have taken her figure to the world of artificial intelligence, but she has not needed it to monopolize the media attention. From the crack opened by her like-minded electorate comes the question of how it could be used and the problems that a new tool for political communication could entail.
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