How should we approach AI in election campaigns?

We focused on this question at the annual edition of ADD Talks, which was held in collaboration between Politiken and ADD.

Last night, PRESSEN in Politiken’s House set the stage for an event where the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the biggest election year in history was debated from political, media, and security perspectives. The topic was highly relevant, as 2024 is a year when half of the world’s population, including in the USA, India, and the EU, will vote, coinciding with significant developments in generative artificial intelligence.

In this collaboration, Michael Jarlner, international commentator at Politiken, conducted the keynote interview, while Lisbeth Knudsen, Strategy Director at Altinget and Mandag Morgen and head of ADD outreach, facilitated the panel debates.

Claes de Vreese, professor at the University of Amsterdam and founder of SDU’s Digital Democracy Centre, opened the day with his keynote speech. The speech highlighted the dilemmas associated with AI’s interaction with democratic processes. These dilemmas were encapsulated in the opening quote: “Artificial intelligence can save democracy, unless it destroys it first.”

This set the stage for the subsequent debates, where short videos outlined the opportunities and risks of AI in the election campaign machinery, media election coverage, and security during democratic processes.

The debate on AI in the election campaign machinery featured Sigrid Rasmussen, Press Chief at SF, and Kirsten Munch, Party Secretary at Moderaterne. Media election coverage was debated by Troels Behrendt Jørgensen, Digital Director at Politiken, Jacob Kwon, News Chief at TV2, and Ida Ebbensgaard, journalist and AI fellow at SDU. Finally, the security perspectives were discussed by Flemming Splidsboel, Senior Researcher at DIIS, and Sine Nørholm Just, Professor at RUC and head of the ADD project’s research efforts.

Despite the many perspectives and dilemmas, there was one thing both panelists and the audience agreed on: there is a need for guidelines and regulation in a world where AI is only going to become more prevalent.

Thank you to all the insightful speakers, panelists, and the engaged audience.