National leader Christopher Luxon defends party using artificial intelligence to create fake photos for attack ads

Christopher Luxon is defending National's decision to use artificial intelligence to create fake photos for its political attack ads. 

Several AI-generated images have been used by the party on social media, Newshub revealed on Tuesday. 

But National leader Luxon said it was "fantastic" innovation and technology was being embraced by his party. 

"It's awesome that you're talking about it on mainstream TV," Luxon told AM host Ryan Bridge.

"Here's what happens: you either go out and buy a standard, stock image… of an actor playing a fake nurse or a doctor or whatever it is, or you can create it now through AI and I don't think there's any difference in both of those approaches."

He said National is simply using technology in a different way.

Luxon said there was a "bigger issue" about how New Zealand could embrace such technology to be more productive.

"That's a really big opportunity for New Zealand. When businesses use AI… that's all good stuff; it actually helps improve their businesses, makes them often more profitable, more efficient - that's a good thing."

Luxon was asked if National would adopt more AI in the Government if elected in October.

National leader Christopher Luxon defends party using artificial intelligence to create fake photos for attack ads
Photo credit: Newshub.

"I think there's a huge opportunity to digitise Government so that it's actually better for people to be able to deal with Government, navigate Government, get much better customer service. I think there's a whole big opportunity for Government to better serve the customers and the people of New Zealand," he said.

Unlike the likes of the Republican Party in the US, however, National would not use AI videos for its campaign, Luxon said. 

"We're going to use AI responsibly and we're really clear about where that line is."

Labour campaign manager Hayden Munro said the party hadn't used AI images for the election campaign and didn't intend to in the future.

"Chris Hipkins has been clear he wants Labour to run an honest and upfront campaign New Zealanders can trust." 

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