I doubt that most political ads have much impact. To take just one example, here in Minnesota Democrats have spent countless millions on TV ads that tell voters their Republican opponents are pro-life. Point taken, but I doubt that a lot of votes have switched, although some Democrat partisans may have been motivated. More generally, most ads are negative, suggesting that the opposing candidate is Satan, more or less. I think most people discount those negative ads by about 99 percent, if they pay attention to them at all.

But here is a new development: the deep fake ad. An ad that looks like your opponent, confessing that there is no way anyone should vote for him. This ad opposes Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis. It isn’t deceptive; the ad makes very clear that it isn’t Polis speaking. But the resemblance is remarkable:

What do you think? Effective, or not? Cricket, or not cricket? What would you think if the ad were a deep fake of a politician you support? And does it matter what the fake politician says? For example, is it relevant that the fake candidate recites actual statistics, versus repeating, for instance, the Russia collusion hoax?

Have at it in the comments. For what it is worth, I am not sure what I think. This particular ad is clever and not at all deceptive. And it takes on a Democrat. But I can imagine applications of the technology to which I would object, vociferously.

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