Monday, June 17, 2024

Chair of US FCC Supports Mandating Disclosure of AI in Political TV and Radio Ads

FCC Chair Proposes Disclosure of AI Content in Political Ads on Radio and TV

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking action to address the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) in political ads, with Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposing new rules for disclosure. The proposed rule would require transparency in the use of AI-generated content in radio and TV ads, aiming to combat potential misleading information in political campaigns.

Rosenworcel’s proposal does not seek to ban AI-generated content in political ads but instead focuses on ensuring that consumers are informed when AI technology is being used. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers cable operators, satellite TV, and radio providers, although internet and social media ads fall outside its authority.

The growing concern over AI-generated content and its potential to mislead voters has prompted calls for legislation to address these threats to election integrity. With the upcoming November elections in mind, Rosenworcel emphasized the need for transparency, stating that consumers have a right to know when AI tools are being employed in the political ads they encounter.

The use of AI is expected to play a significant role in political ads leading up to the 2024 elections, with particular concerns about “deep fakes” – altered multimedia content that can depict individuals saying or doing things they never did. Recent incidents, such as a fake robocall imitating President Joe Biden in New Hampshire’s primary election, have highlighted the risks associated with AI manipulation in political messaging.

In response to these concerns, the FCC previously declared AI-generated robocalls illegal, giving state attorneys general more tools to address such deceptive practices. The agency has also taken enforcement actions, including a $5.1 million fine against conservative activists for illegal robocalls during the 2020 election cycle.

As technology continues to evolve, the FCC’s efforts to regulate AI content in political ads reflect a broader push for transparency and integrity in the democratic process. With the potential for AI to both inform and deceive, ensuring clear disclosure of its use in political messaging is crucial to safeguarding the integrity of elections.

Stay tuned for updates as the FCC considers Rosenworcel’s proposal and navigates the complex landscape of AI in political advertising.

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