OpenAI bans bot impersonating US presidential candidate

Occurred: January 2024

OpenAI banned the account behind an AI bot using deepfake technology to imitate Dean Phillips, a candidate running against Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. 

The bot, hosted on and created with ChatGPT, breached OpenAI's rules against political campaigning and impersonating individuals without their consent, according to a release from the company. 

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Matt Krisiloff and Jed Somers, who also established a Super PAC named ‘We Deserve Better’ to support Phillips, were the key backers of the ‘Dean bot’. 

While OpenAI had stated that developers who use its technology must not engage in ‘political campaigning or lobbying’, the incident demonstrated the ease with which such policies can be ignorsed and  inflamed concerns over the accessibility of deepfake and other synthetic media tools in politics.

System 🤖

Operator: We Deserve Better (Super PAC)
Developer: Delphi
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Impersonate Politician
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Reputational damage
Transparency: Governance