Using AI in Political Campaign Ads

This election year, it’s estimated that $16 billion could be spent on political advertising. That’s 30% more than the 2020 general election. But now, many people are taking notice of another aspect of political campaign ads – the use of AI. Scott Babwah Brennen is the head of Online Expression Policy at the University of North Carolina’s Center on Technology Policy. He joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio to discuss how political strategists are using artificial intelligence in advertisements and the challenges around regulating them. 

Frequent Natural Disasters Raise Homeowners Insurance Rates

From wildfires to tornadoes, climate change is triggering more intense and frequent natural disasters. Because of this, insurance companies are raising premiums and even dropping coverage for homes in “high risk” areas like Orange County, California. Correspondent Dan Lieberman traveled there to speak to impacted residents. He joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio with an update on how the issue is becoming a concern for the entire country.  

JUNE 29, 2024

This week Matter of Fact learns how homeowners are dealing with increased insurance rates and frequent natural disasters. Plus, a tech policy researcher talks about possible safeguards for detecting AI in political campaign ads. And, the debate over gender-affirming care for kids goes to the Supreme Court.  

What’s Different About Biden and Trump’s 2024 Presidential Debate?

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to take part in a presidential debate under unique circumstances. First, the event is happening before the Democratic and Republican parties can formally nominate the candidates at their respective conventions. Plus, the Commission on Presidential Debates the body that oversees and sets rules will not be involved. Kathryn Brownell teaches history at Purdue University. She joins Soledad O’Brien to discuss the evolution of presidential debates and why it’s still important for voters to tune in. 

State Abortion Bans Lead to Decrease in Medical Residency Applications

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – revoking federal protections for abortions. Following the decision, at least 14 states completely banned abortions, and five others put bans in place after 6-12 weeks. Now, the impacts of the ruling are reaching the medical education system. Correspondent Dan Lieberman joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio to explain how state abortion bans are affecting where our nation’s future doctors choose to study. 

JUNE 22, 2024

This week Matter of Fact looks at how the overturning of Roe v. Wade is impacting medical students. Plus, a history professor talks about the evolution of presidential debates. And, university programs address a shortage of rural veterinarians. 

Wildlife Veterinarian Discusses Impacts of Bird Flu

The bird flu outbreak sparked headlines earlier this year when a few people tested positive for the illness. Veterinarians warn that the virus has not only had a severe impact on birds, but it’s also spreading among other animals, like cows and cats. Dr. Deborah McCauley is the co-founder of the Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife. She joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio to explain how bird flu adapted over time and how lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can help to combat the illness. 

New Multi-State Initiative Focuses on Youth Mental Health

The U.S. Surgeon General described the youth mental health crisis as the “defining public health issue of our time.” In a 2021 government survey, more than 40 percent of high school students reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless. With schools often on the frontline of the crisis, AmeriCorps is launching a first-of-its-kind initiative to give students the support they need. Correspondent Dina Demetrius has been reporting on youth mental health. She joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio to explain how the new program works and to give an update on a California school that’s providing mental health support to its rural community.   

Disinformation Campaigns Target Latino Voters

Latino voters could play an important role in the presidential election. The demographic makes up a substantial voting bloc in key states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona. Many political campaigns are reaching out to voters through social media, which is the primary source for news for 21% of Hispanic adults in the country. Randy Abreu of the National Hispanic Media Coalition says that Latino voters could be targets of disinformation campaigns online. He joins Soledad O’Brien in-studio to talk about what social media companies need to do to protect Spanish speakers from false information.  

JUNE 15, 2024

This week Matter of Fact explores solutions to protect Hispanic voters from disinformation on social media. Plus, a multi-state initiative addresses the youth mental health crisis with peer support. And, a wildlife veterinarian explains how the bird flu adapted over time.