Published on December 21, 2023, 6:18 pm

Florida lawmakers have proposed new legislation to regulate the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in political advertising ahead of the 2024 election. The bill, known as SB 850, would require political ads created with generative AI to be clearly labeled with disclaimers. Failure to include a disclaimer could result in civil penalties such as fines.

State Sen. Nick DiCeglie, who filed the bill, expressed concerns about the increasing access to sophisticated AI-generated content that poses a threat to the integrity of elections. He stated that AI technology has advanced rapidly, outpacing government regulation and making it easier for misleading or completely fabricated information to be disseminated.

Voters in Florida have already been exposed to political attack ads created with generative AI. For example, an advertisement supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his 2024 presidential bid used an AI version of former President Donald Trump’s voice to read one of his social media posts. Another video featured AI-generated images showing Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci, his national COVID-19 advisor.

The Brennan Center for Justice has highlighted the challenge faced by voters in distinguishing between AI-generated and human-generated content due to AI’s ability to replicate reality quickly. This opens the door for potential misuse and manipulation of information.

In addition to SB 850, another bill called HB 757 has been proposed to make changes to Florida’s defamation law. This bill would enable individuals to file civil lawsuits if content modified or created with generative AI leads others to believe something false about them.

Several other states have already enacted legislation regulating AI-generated content in political ads. U.S senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Michael Bennet introduced the REAL Political Ads Act which requires disclaimers on political ads that use images or videos generated by AI.

Furthermore, Florida may establish a statewide council proposed by state Rep. Joe Gruters called SB 972. The council’s purpose would be to study generative AI and other forms of AI, assess their impacts on government services, the private sector, and residents’ lives. The council would provide regular reports with policy recommendations to protect privacy and the interests of Florida residents from any negative effects caused by artificial intelligence systems.

As generative AI continues to evolve and become more realistic, it is crucial for lawmakers to develop regulations that ensure the integrity of elections while protecting against misinformation and manipulation. By addressing the use of generative AI in political advertising and establishing councils to study its effects, states like Florida are taking steps towards securing a fair and transparent electoral process.

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