In the Washington Post last weekend, an op-ed article suggested that political candidates should voluntarily renounce the use of artificial intelligence in their campaigns. The article seemed to be looking for candidates to take the actions that governments have largely thus far declined to mandate. As we wrote back in July, despite calls from some for federal regulation of the use of AI-generated content in political ads, little movement in that direction has occurred.
As we noted in July, a bill was introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to require that there be disclaimers on all political ads using images or video generated by artificial intelligence, in order to disclose that they were artificially generated (see press release here), but there has been little action on that legislation. The Federal Election Commission released a “Notice of Availability” in August (see our article here) asking for public comment on whether it should start a rulemaking to determine if the use of deepfakes and other synthetic media imitating a candidate violate FEC rules that forbid a candidate or committee from fraudulently misrepresenting that they are “speaking or writing or otherwise acting for or on behalf of any other candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof on a matter which is damaging to such other candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof.” Comments were filed last month (available here), and include several (including those of the Republican National Committee) that question the authority of the FEC to adopt any rules in this area, both as a matter of statutory authority and under the First Amendment. Such comments do not portend well for voluntary limits by candidates, nor for actions from an FEC that by law has 3 Republican and 3 Democratic commissioners.Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence in Political Ads – Media Companies Beware