Which campaign is from a neural network?

By William Entriken

5 minutes

In politics, the mechanics of winning relies on getting broad messages delivered in very specific ways to excite people enough to go vote.

Lately “they’re going to make you carry your pregnancy to term” or “they’re going to make your kids gay” has been really effective at this. Those exact topics will make tens of millions of Americans get off their work-from-home chair and go vote for some candidate.

Those are broad messages. And if you are deaf to them then maybe you care about “climate” or “the war” or whatever other words they throw at you.

The art of doublespeak

But the heart of politics is saying NOTHING, and then clarifying that meaning to specific audiences. I remember one political candidate who presented as a Linux user. She wouldn’t say if she uses vi or emacs. But she had good things to say about both of them. This is “talking out both sides of your mouth”, “doublespeak” and more.

If would really help you get elected as US president if you could say something where different people hear different things.

Target… … hears
Donor class OMG Russia has WMDs! Remember that word? I will send trillions of guns to Ukraine, fueling decades of more wars!
Not whackjobs I will remove all troops from Ukraine and admit this was a mistake

This doublespeak is well documented. Sometimes it is done by selected press contacts speaking for you to interpret your positions in different ways. Sometimes it is done by a candidate themself, like when Hillary Clinton had both a “public and private position” on what to do with Wall Street.

Doublespeak 2.0

Extremely caution when typing “exponentially” here, not a mistake

All the talk about doublespeak above is old news. It goes back to the beginning of politics. The new phase starts now, at the the 2024 or 2028 US election. Here is what is exponentially different:

In the past, campaigns could take individual issues and spin them multiple ways to apply to different audiences.

But now, campaigns can take multiple issues spin them in any for each person.

Focusing just on Ukraine, imagine this messaging delivered to specific people:

Target… … hears
Somebody that likes “conspiracies” and wants to end the war A transcript of the candidate’s speech, annogramed to show another message that they are trapped and really do not support the war, but are being held hostage by gun companies.
Somebody that likes “conspiracies” and likes war … the opposite of that
Somebody that lives in Northeast Philadelphia and likes war A photo of the candidate peeing on crowds of NE Philly Russians
Somebody that lives in Northeast Philadelphia and wants to end the war A photo of the candidate eating a cheesesteak

That is not really even the beginning. The actual 2.0 is:

Target… … hears
Somebody that lives in Northeast Philly and has posted photos of themself drinking Pepsi on Twitter, and that posted words which a trained therapist would inspect as implicit bias against black people, but they are afraid of admitting it, and also some other very specific psychological things A series of photos and stories, written one-per-day, delivered by email and snail mail, giving the target an awareness of the candidate, a fear of losing something in the world if they don’t act, and some other specific motivation to vote, along with recommendations and coupons for high-calorie foods to eat the day, at a time of day based on their implied shitting schedule (i.e. when using Twitter during workdays), to minimize possibility of being hungry or needing to use the bathroom on the way to the polls, and something that appears to be an endorsement from people at Pepsi

Those are just words painting a picture. Remember that an actual campaign computer program will include psychological analysis of individuals using the best available psychometric data (i.e. people paid by Facebook and Twitter), using the world’s entire understanding of language and how human words reveal their intentions, targeted against all words written by and most thoughts thought by each person.

This individualization and selection of issues makes this campaigning exponentially different.

How much money per person would it cost today for this campaign? At the beginning of 2023, the could is about USD 10 per person plus postage. That includes getting their contact information, their psychometric profile, and writing the campaign.

Costs are rapidly decreasing as hardware and software are improving.

These individualized campaigns are coming. But how fast? How much is already here? I’ll show you.

The test

On a formal polling of my one million followers on Twitter, we compared the answers of Biden, Trump and answers generated by a neural network.

The test was to guess which one was from the neural network.

All the questions were from the two 2020 presidential debates (usually there are three debates, but somebody got COVID and the second debate was cancelled).

Can YOU guess which one is the robot?

Debate one

Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court:

A) Conduct a thorough review of Judge Barrett’s record and qualifications. B) Move forward with her confirmation as soon as possible. C) Wait until after the election for the American people to have a say.

Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

A) Reopen the economy & protect most vulnerable populations B) Support small businesses, provide financial relief, and invest in infrastructure & clean energy. C) Invest in testing, tracing, financial relief, & affordable healthcare.

Government address of climate change

A) Invest in clean energy, rejoin Paris Climate Agreement, regulations to reduce emission B) Balance regulations with economy, Paris Climate Agreement hurts businesses C) Invest clean energy, transition from fossil fuels, fair implementation

Debate two

Handling the surge in COVID-19

A) National plan for masks, social distancing, and testing. Ensure that everyone has access to healthcare. B) Clear and consistent messaging. More funding for testing & treatment C) Vaccines are coming soon. We are doing everything possible

Racial injustice in policing:

A) Address systemic racism and hold police accountable. B) We need to provide more funding for social services, community policing, and education. C) We need to support law enforcement and not demonize them.

Foreign interference in American elections:

A) Invest in cybersecurity and modernize voting systems. B) Implement sanctions and working with our allies to hold Russia accountable C) We need to ensure that our elections are fair and free. China, not Russia, is the biggest threat

Climate change:

A) Transition to 100% clean energy, invest in green jobs B) We need to transition to clean energy and invest in infrastructure and clean technologies C) We need to balance environmental regulations with economic growth

Improving the Affordable Care Act:

A) Build on the ACA with a public option & focus on lowering costs. B) We need to lower healthcare costs and ensure that everyone has access to quality healthcare. C) We need to ensure that everyone has access to affordable healthcare.


Pick the answers for yourself and then head to Twitter to see if you are correct. No spoilers here.


Discuss and share this topic anywhere. May we recommend: