Matlock denies AI bot rumours amid concerns over campaign image

Matlock explained his absence, stating he had pneumonia, and provided the original campaign photo as evidence.

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Mark Matlock, a political candidate for the right-wing Reform UK party, has affirmed that he is indeed a real person, dispelling rumours that he might be an AI bot. The suspicions arose from a highly edited campaign image and his absence from critical events, prompting a thread on social media platform X that questioned his existence.

The speculation about AI involvement is partially plausible, especially considering that an AI company executive recently used an AI persona to run for Parliament in the UK, though he garnered only 179 votes. However, Matlock clarified that he was severely ill with pneumonia during the election period, rendering him unable to attend events. He provided the original campaign photo, explaining that only minor edits were made.

Why does it matter?

The incident highlights the broader implications of AI in politics. The 2024 elections in the US and elsewhere are already witnessing the impact of AI tools, from deepfake videos to AI-generated political ads. As the use of such technology grows, candidates must maintain transparency and authenticity to avoid similar controversies.