artificial intelligence enters the presidential campaign

Indonesians are called to vote for the presidential election on February 14. In the country, parties make a lot of use of artificial intelligence, even if it means using the image of deceased presidents.


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The favorite in the Indonesian presidential election, Prabowo Subianto, is not shy about artificial intelligence.  (YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP)

If we bring the image back to France, it’s as if General de Gaulle was sending a message of support to candidates on TikTok. Indeed, the former Indonesian president, Suharto, who died 15 years ago, was summoned by artificial intelligence. He ruled the country with an iron fist for 3 decades. He increased human rights violations until his departure in 1998, but for some Indonesians, he remained quite popular.

This is why a political party used generative artificial intelligence to resurrect it during the campaign through a deepfake. Programmers took archive images of the dictator, they synthesized his voice with old speeches and they made a video where he calls to vote for the candidates of their party tomorrow.

The video was seen by millions of people on social networks, especially by young people, since Indonesia has nearly 280 million inhabitants and half of the voters are under 40 years old.

Limitless use of AI

For the moment, Indonesian law has not caught up with artificial intelligence, so the use of these technologies is not really regulated and all parties use them. It’s not just fake videos. Indeed, several candidates also use message exchange platforms powered by artificial intelligence.

On social networks, it is possible to ask specific questions to campaign teams on a point of their program such as the economy, education or foreign policy. But it is a machine animated by ChatGPT which responds. Often, she formulates a response adapted to what we want to hear, after analyzing thousands of other exchanges.

The candidates also showcase their avatars, again created by artificial intelligence. For example, the big favorite in the election, the current Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto, presents himself online as a slightly plump, very reassuring young man who loves to dance. In real life, he is a 72-year-old former general, suspected of multiple human rights violations.

However, artificial intelligence is not everything. Indeed, Prabowo’s popularity was not only built online. He also benefited from the support of outgoing President Jokowi. But artificial intelligence now seems an essential tool, particularly for winning the vote of young people who socialize on TikTok or Instagram.

source site-29