New US Bill demands disclosure of AI-generated political advertisement

The move is seen as a rapid response to a recently aired advertisement.
Ameya Paleja
File photo: US Capitol west side.
File photo: US Capitol west side.

Wikimedia Commons 

Yvette Clark, a lawmaker, has introduced a new Bill in the U.S. Congress that requires political advertisements to carry a disclosure about the use of artificial intelligence, AI-generated content.

Dubbed The REAL Political Ads Act, the Bill is aimed at preventing the manipulation and deception of people ahead of the Presidential Election in 2024, the House of Representatives said in a press release.

The sudden explosion of the use of AI in generating art and imagery hadClarke's already demonstrated the scale of its impact when images of former President Donald Trump went viral ahead of the news of his arrest.

Even as the imagery had obvious signs of errors, with Trump being shown to have three legs, the images were widely circulated, exemplifying how little analysis people actually do before accepting information as true and spreading it in their circles.

AI-generated imagery in political ads

With the 2024 election cycle now in sight and generative AI getting better almost every day, threats of misuse of AI to target political rivals are high. Last week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) aired an advertisement that constituted entirely of AI-generated images, The Washington Post said in its report.

The advertisement used AI to generate imagery of scenarios that the RNC considers would become a reality if Joe Biden returned as President of the U.S. This included the aid to Ukraine'skraine's war effChina's China's invasion of Taiwan, and increased crime in the U.S.

At the top left corner of the ad, there is a small print disclosure that the imagery is generated using AI and is not real. However, it is not necessary that future advertisements would also carry this disclosure or that individual candidates would follow such a line.

Clarke's Bill has limited scope to ensure that the use of generative AI in the election cycle comes with mandatory disclosure. This has been aimed to ensure that it passes quickly, unlike previous attempts to put regulatory barriers on AI technology such as facial recognition.

Clarke was among the lawmakers who sought to limit the use of technology by law enforcement agencies, but the Bill has been in process for years now, a Washington Post report said.

"If AI-generated content can manipulate and deceive people on a large scale, it can have devastating consequences for our national security and election seIt'sty. It’s time we sound the alarm, and work to ensure our campaign finance laws keep pace with the innovation of new techn"logies,” Clarke stated in the press release.

Previously Republican lawmaker Ted Lieu used AI chatbot ChatGPT to write the content of the Bill seeking regulation over AI.

Clarke's Bill, if passed, could be the first law to put controls on the use of AI technology in Politics.

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