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Lok Sabha polls: Parties harness AI for message spread

As campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections heats up, political parties are using artificial intelligence (AI) to spread their message: Left, Right and centre. The technology helps in translating speeches instantly, creating digital anchors and making videos of a long-dead leader.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi used Bhashini, an AI-driven tool, to translate his speech in Hindi to a Tamil-speaking audience at an event in Varanasi in December. “I am using AI technology for the first time and in the future I will use it,” he said.

Months later, Modi is seen asking people at his election rallies to visit the dedicated regional language handles on X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube to listen to his AI-translated speeches. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has created YouTube channels that play Modi’s translated speeches in Bangla, Tamil, Odia, Malayalam and other languages.

Campaign mode
Like the BJP, its rivals the Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) are using AI to create lifelike audiovisual media for campaigning. DMK, which governs Tamil Nadu, is using AI-generated videos that show former chief minister and party icon M Karunanidhi seeking voters’ support. Karunanidhi died in 2018 at age 94.

In West Bengal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is using an AI-generated anchor called Samata to create videos for the party’s social media outreach in election campaigning.

A Congress spokesperson said in March it plans translating party leader Rahul Gandhi’s speeches into different languages using GenAI and machine learning.

“Now, every party wants interesting, interactive content with AI. It is helping the parties to bring the aura of old leaders back in the form of their voices and popular slogans, and is being used both in a positive manner but also in satirical form,” said Niranjan R, founder of Political Analytics India (PA-I), a consultancy.

For the attention it is getting, AI’s use in elections is nascent and experimental. “Bigger political parties are still a little sceptical about using artificial intelligence on a large scale. It started as a great idea but issues of lack of proper expertise, overselling, and mediocre quality content have been a spoil-sport,” said Diggaj Mogra, a political analyst. Business Standard

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