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Any Such ‘Misinformation’ Is What Economists Call “Inframarginal”

Here’s a recent headline: “AI Threatens To ‘Supercharge’ Disinformation Campaigns In 2024 US Elections.”

This headline made me laugh. No hyperbole. It literally caused me to burst out in laughter.

I don’t doubt that AI might increase the amount of ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ – and even out-and-out lies – circulating among the populace about matters at stake in next year’s U.S. elections. But the likelihood of additional amounts of faulty, false, and foolish ‘information’ somehow worsening electoral results strikes me as near zero. Real ‘intelligence’ – that is, thoughts and statements issued by flesh-and-blood human beings running for political office, as well as by flesh-and-blood partisans plugging these and those candidates – is, and has long been, a source of a superabundant amount of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies. Indeed, nothing in human history has come close to politics in its capacity to pump out oceans of falsehoods and half-truths.

To worry that the American electorate will be mislead by AI in any way that worsens political outcomes is akin to worrying that a man drowning in the Pacific ocean will be made worse off by the sudden appearance of a small rain shower off the coast of California.

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