US Communications Regulator Aims for AI Disclosure in Political Ads

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Key Takeaways

  • FCC wants to bring clarity to political ads on TV and radio by labeling AI content.
  • There are concerns about how AI is influencing public opinion, especially deep fakes.
  • Google and Meta have already introduced similar measures on their platforms.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is contemplating a new rule to enforce the disclosure of AI in political advertising. 

FCC Chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed the change due to the potential for AI-generated content to disinform and influence the public. Still, crucially, the agency is not planning to ban AI.

The 52-year-old attorney wants more transparency, stating, “The commission wants to make sure consumers are fully informed when the technology is used.” The FCC believes deepfake content targeted at a political candidate or issue needs to be addressed, particularly because of the concern around it.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden was the victim of a deepfake attack when robocalls were made to voters in New Hampshire.

Some state voters reported receiving calls from the US President advising them not to vote in the primary election.

Tools from AI startup ElevenLabs were blamed for the cyber incident.

Meta and Google have already introduced labeling and AI content disclosures for political adverts on their platforms. The FCC wants to pursue a similar approach for TV and radio.

The proposed changes will likely come too late for the upcoming 2024 US Presidential election, even if there is action immediately. Rosenworcel wants the commission to get to work as soon as possible, but even in the event of a successful vote on the proposal, a public consultation has to follow.

After the public comment is heard, a final FCC vote will be held.

As stated, there is no intention to end AI-generated content in political advertising, but further talks on various issues are likely.

For now, Rosenworcel outlined, “The proposed FCC proceeding does NOT propose any prohibition of such content, only the disclosure of any AI-generated content within political ads.”