AI Hits the Campaign Trail

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

Jan 18 2024 • 31 mins

It's an election year in the US, which means you can expect a fresh tsunami of campaign ads in your feeds, in your inbox, and jammed in front of YouTube videos. This is also the first election of the AI era, where anyone can generate just about anything—an image, a Twitter bot, a speech—by typing a few lines of text into a prompt. Whether it's bad actors generating misleading deepfakes or candidates using text generators to write cringey campaign emails, AI is now firmly part of the election process.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior politics writer Makenna Kelly joins us en route from the Iowa caucus to talk about how scammers and political campaigns alike are using AI to influence voters at the polls.

Show Notes:

Read more from Makena about the Iowa caucus and the end of Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign. Scroll through her TikToks about the caucus. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of the 2024 election and artificial intelligence.


Makena recommends Uniqlo under layers. Mike recommends the cringey Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone show The Curse. Lauren recommends the show Catastrophe.

Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.