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AI-generated deep fakes threaten 2024 elections – US regulators

In this post:

  • The United States Federal Election Commission (FEC) advanced a petition that seeks to regulate the use of artificial intelligence-generated deep fake content in political advertisements, particularly focusing on the upcoming 2024 elections.
  • The driving force behind the petition is the alarming rise of AI-generated content being incorporated into political campaigns. 
  • The next phase involves a 60-day public comment period, during which stakeholders, policy experts, and concerned citizens can voice their opinions.

The United States Federal Election Commission (FEC) took a significant step toward tackling the potential influence of deep fakes in political campaigns on August 10th. In a unanimous decision, the FEC advanced a petition that seeks to regulate the use of AI-generated deep fake content in political advertisements, particularly focusing on the upcoming US 2024 elections.

The petition, spearheaded by the advocacy organization Public Citizen and its president Robert Weissman, addresses the growing concern surrounding deep fakes’ impact on democratic processes. Weissman pointed out that these highly convincing manipulated videos pose a “significant threat to democracy” by distorting reality and spreading fraudulent information. He emphasized the urgency for the FEC to intervene and prevent the potential deluge of AI-generated misinformation that could undermine the fundamental principles of truth and falsity.

“The FEC must use its authority to ban deep fakes or risk being complicit with an AI-driven wave of fraudulent misinformation and the destruction of basic norms of truth and falsity.”

The driving force behind the petition is the alarming rise of AI-generated content being incorporated into political campaigns. A notable example includes the campaign of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican nominee, which circulated three fabricated images featuring former President Donald Trump embracing Dr. Anthony Fauci. These instances highlight the potential for AI-powered deep fakes to manipulate public perceptions and deceive voters.

AI-generated deep fakes on campaigns

During the FEC meeting, Lisa Gilbert, the executive vice president of Public Citizen, sought clarity on the applicability of existing laws regarding “fraudulent misrepresentation” in political campaigns to AI-generated deep fakes. The importance of regulating the use of deep fakes in election ads was stressed by Gilbert, who deemed it increasingly imperative with each passing day.

The FEC’s decision to advance the petition marks a crucial step toward addressing the challenge posed by deep fakes. The next phase involves a 60-day public comment period, during which stakeholders, policy experts, and concerned citizens can voice their opinions. This move is seen as a promising indication that regulators are taking the potential threat posed by AI-driven misinformation seriously.

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with Public Citizen, highlighted the significance of the public comment period. It serves as a platform for various parties to express their concerns about the potential misuse of deep fake technology in the upcoming election cycle. The engagement of policy advocates, experts, and voters in this process is expected to contribute to the formulation of effective regulations to counter the spread of manipulated content.

This recent development builds on Public Citizen’s initial petition filing in July, where the organization stressed that the consequences of deep fakes could extend to even swinging election results. Notably, members of both the U.S. Congress chambers responded to the first petition by expressing their support for addressing the issue. This bi-partisan recognition emphasizes the need for comprehensive measures to safeguard the integrity of democratic processes from the insidious influence of AI-generated deep fakes.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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