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Inaugural AI & International Political Campaigns Expo (IPE2024)

I had the incredible honour of serving as the Master of Ceremonies at the inaugural global conference on Artificial Intelligence in Political Campaigns, held in Cape Town, South Africa, this past week. With 130 delegates from almost 30 countries, I understand this event achieved two significant milestones: hosting the world’s first political campaign expo and the first conference focused on AI in political campaigns.

The conference explored pressing topics such as: the role of AI in shaping modern political campaigns; AI and big data in political campaigns, navigating truth and deception in political communication in the AI era; and the regulation of AI in political campaigns. These discussions shed light on Africa’s readiness for this technological advancement and the unique challenges it presents, ensuring our continent’s active participation in shaping the future of AI. It was particularly encouraging to see more than 20 African countries represented, including representatives of electoral management bodies and members of ruling and opposition parties, all in one room.

The theme of the conference was “Transforming Political Campaigns: How AI and Big Data Amplify Voter Engagement and Shape Political Campaigns in Africa.”. Supported by International IDEA, Afrobarometer, 22 @Sloan, and Shikamo Political Advisory and Campaigns Services, the event brought together global experts in political campaigns, researchers and academics, policymakers, and tech giants to explore the potential of AI. The conference provided valuable insights into pressing issues and raised important questions regarding the regulation of a technology that is still developing; Africa’s readiness to embrace AI; the impact of deepfake videos during elections, especially in Africa; and the prioritisation of legislative efforts over adaptation to the African context. Attendees asked why people were more concerned with legislating the use of AI as opposed to adapting it to the African context and making it fit for purpose on the continent. With more than 60 elections taking place worldwide in 2024, including 24 in Africa, it promises to be an exciting year for electoral processes. See the full conference via this link:… The İPE initiative will continue, and we look forward to the next follow-up expo. So don’t miss IPE25 on the 23 & 24th January in Cape Town next year

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