With concerns over the impact of AI on the democratic process in the lead up to the 2024 United States presidential election, Midjourney has intimated it could ban political images entirely.
From Donald Trump campaigning with Donald Duck to Joe Biden being accompanied by Beyonce, anything is possible with artificial intelligence in terms of creating imagery and videos to blur the lines but worse than that is the fear of political disinformation – deliberately misleading – which has the potential to negatively influence public opinion in a meaningful way.
Generative AI program Midjourney, as well as other platforms, is cognisant of this issue with a decision to prohibit political imagery over the next 12 months said to be close.
Currently, as you can see from the headline picture here made on Midjournery, there is no restriction on creating images of the two men.
As reported by Bloomberg, Midjourney CEO David Holz opined in a Discord session, “I don’t know how much I care about political speech for the next year for our platform. I know it’s fun to make Trump pictures, I make Trump pictures,” he said.
“Trump is aesthetically really interesting. However, probably better to just not – better to pull out a little bit during this election. We’ll see,” added Holz.
Concern and control
Last March, Midjourney-created images of Trump being arrested went viral, as did pictures of the Pope depicted in a lavish Balenciaga jacket so it is easy to see where the concern of deepfakes comes from. The San Francisco-based company ended free trials soon after those pictures emerged.
Other tech firms are taking action too. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman commented at an event last week, “The thing that I’m most concerned about is that with new capabilities with AI, there will be better deepfakes than in 2020,” whilst Meta has confirmed it will be labeling more posts creating using AI in a direct move to target political interference.
It is a sensitive situation, requiring diligent action as 15 states prepare to go to the polls on Super Tuesday.