AI is here. Like every industry, those of us in advocacy, public affairs, policy, and government relations are asking, what does this mean for my profession?
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We are only at the beginning of what will be world-changing technology, and like any before, this comes with incredible opportunities and challenges. So, before we dive in, please join us.
Diving Deeper: Impacts on our Industry
For advocacy, AI tools are poised to revolutionize our processes. However, as with any new technology, we must also acknowledge the challenges and threats AI poses to making authentic voices heard.
The possibilities with ChatGPT are incredibly exciting for those of us running advocacy campaigns.
Imagine: a new bill hits the floor that will shape the next ten years of American energy policy. You know you must mobilize support fast. However, there are a lot of steps before impacting the policy that will slow you down.
ChatGPT (and other AI tools) is amazing for this and can truly help expedite:
- Campaign planning
- Policy research
- Messaging templates/talking points
- Advocate acquisition copy
- Marketing image creation
- And much more....
While its outputs should never be trusted without review, ChatGPT is incredibly helpful at building a foundation of work from which to get started.
Challenges and threats
While these tools can make us more productive, we must be wary of the dangers they introduce.
Imagine if a single individual can pose as millions of real constituents and inundate policymakers with messages on a new EPA rule. While bad actors have done this in the past, AI makes it far easier to overwhelm constituent communications. The implications for trust in our digital Commons are unprecedented.
Potential threats are growing by the minute, and we must identify these dangers in order to address them. We expect bad actors will be (and perhaps are) using AI to:
- Spoof real people’s identities
- Generate messages that look unique and authentic
- Generate real-sounding audio (and soon video)
- Spam lawmaker offices with messages (crowding out authentic voices/campaigns)
- Generate real-looking social media posts
- Generate auto-responses to constituent messages (without their knowledge)
- Promote misinformation
What are we at Countable doing?
As you can tell, we’re both excited and concerned about AI. Everything is moving so quickly, and we are doing our best to prepare ourselves, our clients, our citizenry, the staffers who are on the front lines of all of this, as well as the broader ecosystem. While the opportunities are incredible, the threats could be disastrous, and so that’s a big part of where we’re focusing our efforts.
One of Countable’s core values is authenticity and trust in the democratic process and the use of our platform to facilitate it. This manifests in our technology which leverages extensive protections to ensure the authenticity of the author and their message. (You can read more about our security, safety, and verification features.) This is an important start, and we encourage everyone in our industry to follow suit, but it’s also not enough. The rapid rise of AI forces us to do much more and more quickly.
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Our commitment and call to action
The development of AI is exciting and concerning. We pledge to keep you informed of what we’re seeing, respond to your thoughts and concerns, and help to drive innovation around solutions. We cannot do this alone - join us.
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