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Democrats sound alarm bells over AI-generated political ads with new bill

Democrats sound alarm bells over AI-generated political ads with new bill

The Republican National Committee's (RNC) AI-generated attack ad offered a glimpse of how Congress might use the technology in next year's election cycle. Now, Democrats are preparing their response.

On Tuesday, Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY) introduced a new bill to require disclosure of AI-generated content in political ads. Clark told The Washington Post on Tuesday that his bill was a direct response to an RNC ad launched last week. The video surfaced shortly after President Joe Biden announced his 2024 re-election campaign, depicting a dystopian future where Biden reinstates the draft to aid Ukraine's war effort and China to Taiwan . cause to attack.

“The upcoming 2024 election cycle will be the first time in US history where AI generated content will be used in political ads by campaigns, parties and super PACs. Unfortunately, our existing laws have not kept pace with the rapid development of artificial intelligence technologies,” Clarke said in a statement on Tuesday.

The debate about regulating AI and machine learning technology influenced the former presidential election in 2020. Leading up to the election, a fake video of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drunkenly speaking her words went viral on social media platforms and spread to a handful of congresswomen. the hearing. Meta, TikTok and other major social media companies subsequently banned deepfakes, but lawmakers failed to approve any meaningful regulation as a result of their efforts. Clark's de facto Political Advertising Act would still apply to image and video ads, which require a message at either the beginning or end disclosing the use of AI-generated content.

With a new election cycle on the horizon, AI-generated and other doctored video content has only become more widespread online. Over the past year, the growing reach of AI technology and corporate investment has captivated lawmakers, leading to a flurry of new bills and regulatory solutions.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) circulated a comprehensive outline among experts outlining the Democrats' approach to AI regulation. According to Axios, the framework proposed new rules requiring AI developers to disclose their data sources, who trained the algorithm, its audience and an explanation for how the algorithm arrived at its responses.

In a March interview with The Verge, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) lamented how Congress has been slow to regulate emerging technologies. Talking about the potential pitfalls of social media, he said, "I wish we had some rules before the game." He continued, "We have a chance to do this with AI."

Without new legislation, federal agencies have begun to fill in the gaps left by Congress. Last month, the Commerce Department asked the public how the federal government should regulate AI algorithms. The Federal Trade Commission has begun warning companies against using biased AI, arguing that they already have the right to pass on potentially discriminatory algorithms.

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