THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the general elections approach fast, the IT companies and startups have begun wooing candidates with their services to help them campaign online using Artificial Intelligence (AI), with analytics being the key. IT experts say the thrust to connect with voters is on AI as promotional SMS and recorded telephone calls have become outdated.
Taking a cue from the last US presidential elections, the poll campaign in the country is expected to rely largely on AI technology and data. AI will play a big role as it can be used to target voters individually by assessing their interests and emotions through social media platforms.
Different voters receive different messages based on predictions about their susceptibility to different arguments. This is enabled using real-time data on voters, from their behaviour on social media to consumption patterns and relationships. Their internet footprints are used to build unique behavioural and psychographic profiles, experts said.
Bengaluru-based AI expert S Rajaneesh said people are often overwhelmed by political information on TV debates, newspapers and social media. “AI can help them discover the political positions of each candidate based on what they care the most. For example, if a person is interested in an agriculture policy, an AI targeting tool could be used to help them find out what each party has to say about agriculture. Crucially, personalised political ads must serve voters and help them be more informed, rather than undermine their interest,” he said.
Syam Kumar, an IT entrepreneur in Thiruvananthapuram, said there are dedicated cyber teams for candidates and they develop posts, videos and pictures on social media to counter rival candidate’s arguments. “There’re many individuals and companies who approach candidates to pitch this strategy, but not many use it,” he said.
Shashi Tharoor’s private secretary Praveen said the team uses advanced technology options in addition to conventional methods in campaigning. “We’ve a target audience on social media. WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook all are stronger than in 2014. So we’ve our own team co-ordinating effectively with the KPCC’s media cells to make the campaign effective. AI and other social media campaigns add value for us,” said Praveen.