New law requires disclosure of artificial intelligence in political ads

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz
Published: Updated:

When it comes to helping us with everyday tasks, artificial intelligence can be helpful.

But when it becomes entwined in our politics, it can be downright scary, putting words in people’s mouths that they didn’t say or showing them doing things they didn’t do.

“One of the big pieces that I hear when I’m out speaking with people, they are definitely very concerned about AI, and rightfully so,” said Dr. Chrissann Ruehle, a Florida Gulf Coast University AI ethicist.

That’s why Florida lawmakers are trying to get ahead of it with House Bill 919.

The new law defines AI and requires a disclaimer on certain types of political ads created with it, including those depicting a real person performing an action that did not actually occur or those created with the intent to injure a candidate or deceive people regarding a ballot issue.

Ruehle said this regulation is a positive step forward for voters and candidates alike.

“I actually think introducing guardrails like this ethical guardrail is really important in order for us to have accurate information so that we can make informed decisions about the best candidate to vote for, which is very important in a democracy,” said Ruehle.

She said transparency from candidates will build better trust with the voters.

“When people are transparent and upfront, the consumer tends to be more receptive to that information,” Ruehle said.

Anyone who breaks this law would be met with a first-degree misdemeanor and up to a year in prison.

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