The ideal scenario for the modern propagandist, of course, is to have convincing personas produce original content. Generative text is the next frontier. Released in a beta version in June by the artificial-intelligence research lab OpenAI, a tool called GPT-3 generates long-form articles as effortlessly as it composes tweets, and its output is often difficult to distinguish from the work of human beings. In fact, it wrote parts of this article. Tools like this won’t just supercharge global propaganda operations; they will force internet platforms and average users alike to find new ways of deciding what and whom to trust.
When I prompted GPT-3 to opine on these issues, it captured the problem succinctly:
For the moment, at least, it seems unlikely that generative media will be effective in the same way as traditional media at promoting political messages. However, that’s not to say that it couldn’t be. What