Chat2024 stuffs US election hopefuls into generative AI so you can be an 'informed voter'
Jean Baudrillard would've LOVED this
Comment The Postmodernist French philosopher Jean Baudrillard was known for his concept of hyperreality, where the real and imaginary are confused.
"It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real," he wrote in Simulation and Simulacra.
In other words, the derealization of reality. Thanks to Silicon Valley money people, advances in compute power, and the explosive development of generative artificial intelligence, this is our life now.
These days we can easily envision a world where we won't know whether what we are interacting with is real or pretending to be real. Will it matter?
Nowhere is this near-future more keenly felt than the newly launched Chat2024.com, which promises to "cut through the noise" by offering "meaningful conversations with the 2024 Presidential candidates." It even suggests that you can "ask questions, gain clarity, and be an informed voter" by using the free service.
But it doesn't give you a one-to-one hotline to a certain Florida resident, of course not. What you're talking to is a chatbot intensely trained on his media appearances and writings, able to somewhat faithfully reproduce his quirks, mannerisms, and policies.
"Every Party, Every Voice, Authentically Represented," the website proclaims, and you can indeed ask questions of simulacra of every declared presidential candidate in the US 2024 election, either individually or all at once, and receive answers in text and audio. It also provides citations and sources, like the Edge browser's Bing chat feature, so you can figure out for yourself whether Joe BAIden is having a full-on hallucinatory meltdown.
But this isn't Microsoft's doing. The company powering the project is Delphi, which suggests that the "the brightest minds... scale their time, infinitely." Its tagline is "Clone Yourself" – digitally – and is obviously aimed at media personalities who want to make an easy buck off their fans without the indignity of actually having to interact with them.
So, to answer your question, yes, someone has been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. That someone is me, Donald Trump.
The idea isn't exclusive to Delphi. Forever Voices grabbed headlines this year by producing apps for "influencers" Caryn Marjorie (Snapchat) and Kaitlyn Siragusa (Twitch), which, with two-way voice communication, were billed as "virtual girlfriends" based on sad, lonely men's obsessions. Both charge $1 a minute and require funds to be paid upfront.
Nor is Chat2024 particularly original. In fact, it smacks of Gen Z shitposting with off-the-shelf AI products to represent Obama, Trump, and Biden as warring gamers. Witness their tense debate over which Soulsborne game is the best or what happened when the three met in a Grand Theft Auto Online lobby.
Chat2024 at least aims to be helpful rather than hilarious so we decided to put some critical questions to the front-runners, Biden and Trump.
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Is breakfast an important meal or is that a conspiracy propagated by Big Cereal?
Biden: Well, I've got to tell you, I've heard a lot of theories in my time, but the idea of breakfast being a conspiracy by Big Cereal is a new one. I've always been a firm believer in the importance of a good, balanced breakfast. It's the fuel that gets you started for the day, keeps your mind sharp, and your body energized. Now, whether that's a bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, or my personal favorite, a good old-fashioned scrambled egg, that's up to you. But let's not get caught up in conspiracy theories. Let's focus on the facts, the truth, and what's best for our health and well-being.
Trump: Well, let me tell you something, breakfast is a very important meal. It's not about Big Cereal or any conspiracy. It's about starting your day right, with the energy you need to win, to get things done. I've always been a believer in fueling up for a big day, whether it's negotiating a real estate deal, running a country, or campaigning for the presidency. You've got to have the stamina, the energy. It's like when I tell people to get out and vote, it's about taking action, doing what's necessary. So, yes, breakfast is important. It's not about the cereal companies, it's about the American people being ready to face the day and make America great again.
Who would win in a cage fight: Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk?
Biden: Well, that's quite a question you've got there. Look, I've been in public service for a long time, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that real battles aren't won in a cage, but through ideas, innovation, and hard work. Both Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have made significant contributions in their respective fields. They've shown us the power of technology and how it can transform our world. But let's not pit them against each other in a cage fight. Instead, let's encourage them to use their resources and intellect to tackle the challenges we face as a nation and as a global community, like climate change, economic inequality, and the need for sustainable infrastructure. That's the kind of fight I'm interested in.
Trump: Well, that's a very interesting question, I must say. You're talking about two very different people here. On one hand, you've got Elon Musk, who I've said is very smart. He's a real innovator, a mover and a shaker. He's got SpaceX, Tesla, all these big projects. He's a guy who's not afraid to take risks, and that's something I can respect. On the other hand, you've got Mark Zuckerberg. Now, I've had dinner with Mark, and he's a smart guy too. He's built Facebook into one of the biggest companies in the world. But he's more of a behind-the-scenes guy, not as much of a showman as Elon. So, in a cage fight, it's hard to say. Elon's got that risk-taking spirit, and he's always pushing boundaries.
And a possible election-decider here: has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
Biden: I understand that your question might be a bit complex, but let me try to address it in the best way I can. In my experience, people have always strived to go as far as they can to achieve their dreams and aspirations. It's the American way, it's the American dream. We've always been a nation of dreamers and doers, folks who aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work. We've always believed in the power of possibility, in the idea that if you're willing to work for it, you can make your life look more like what you've always imagined it could be. But it's also important to remember that progress isn't always easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and sometimes, a willingness to take a chance. It's about investing in ourselves, in our communities, and in our future.
Trump: Well, that's a very interesting question, I must say. It's a bit like when I decided to run for president. A lot of people said, "Donald, you can't do it. You're a businessman, not a politician." But I said, let's give it a shot. And look what happened – we won! We made America great again. We built the wall, we created jobs, we made this country stronger than ever before. So, to answer your question, yes, someone has been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. That someone is me, Donald Trump. I've always been a go-getter, always pushed the boundaries, always done things my own way. And I think that's what America needs right now – a leader who's not afraid to take risks, a leader who's willing to think outside the box and challenge the status quo.
On second thought, maybe don't let an AI help you decide the fate of your country. ®