Susan Zhuang, incoming NYC councilwoman, secretly employs AI tech.

Newly elected New York City Councilwoman, Susan Zhuang, has admitted to utilising artificial intelligence (AI) technology to communicate with the public and answer questions from the media. The admissions came after questions were raised with regard to the authenticity of her responses, which upon investigation, were identified as AI-generated. She has been using popular AI tools like ChatGBT. Zhuang attributes her use of AI to the fact that English is not her primary language and that she utilises AI as a tool to help foster deeper understanding and personal growth.

Susan Zhuang, a Brooklyn Democrat slated to be sworn into the City Council in January, was confronted with her use of AI when the answers she gave for a recent Q&A interview appeared to be AI-generated. The authenticity of her answers was brought into question by a top Democratic operative and subsequently tested using, an AI content detection tool. The website’s algorithm confirmed that the responses were indeed written by artificial intelligence.

Long-time political consultant Hank Sheinkopf has noted that elected officials have been known to use AI for campaign purposes but using AI to interact with reporters and members of the public could be an emerging trend, which he finds troubling. He argued that if public officials are using AI, they may as well be replaced by robots.

Meanwhile, Ying Tan, a Republican community activist who competed against Zhuang in the recent elections, has questioned Zhuang’s use of AI, arguing that if Zhuang can’t answer questions on her own, it raises doubts about her ability to represent the district. She further questioned whether Zhuang would use AI to write her legislations as well.

This development comes at a time when Councilwoman Julie Menin is campaigning for a resolution that calls on the Federal Election Commission to outlaw the use of “deceptive artificial intelligence” in political campaigns. There have been instances of AI tools being used on campaign trails to generate misleading images and false narratives.