WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Michigan House of Representatives today introduced a bipartisan bill package to curb content generated with artificial intelligence (A.I.) in election communications. The bill was introduced by State Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou (D – East Lansing), Rep. Matthew Bierlein (R-Vassar), Rep. Noah Arbit (D-West Bloomfield), and Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton).
The legislation would require a disclaimer on political advertisements if they were created using A.I.-generated content, and would ban A.I. deepfakes in communications surrounding elections unless they contained a clear disclosure.
“Artificial Intelligence continues to evolve, while simultaneously becoming more and more popular each month,” said Rep. Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing), who is chair of the Michigan House Elections Committee. “Ahead of the 2024 election, we must ensure that political advertisements containing audio, videos, or images that were generated by A.I. are properly labeled, so that voters are not misled by fake or digitally altered content.”
“Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving technology,” said Rep. Bierlein (R-Vassar). “As we go forward, it’s going to have an even greater impact on our elections process and how people consume political information leading up to elections. Transparency is crucial as this technology moves forward. This bill is a win-win for voters and the integrity of our process. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle on a bipartisan package to address these concerns.”
Michigan joins several other states working to tackle the threat posed by AI deepfakes. Texas, Minnesota, California and Washington have already passed legislation to curb the use of A.I. during elections.
“Deepfakes threaten to make it impossible for voters to distinguish authentic media from fake, A.I.-generated content, undermining the prospect of a functioning democracy” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Michigan’s legislative leaders are showing that we don’t have to let our democracy get overrun by deceptive deepfakes.”
“There’s no place in our democratic process for artificial intelligence to deceive and manipulate voters,” said Talyce Murray, National Organizer with the Declaration for American Democracy coalition. “Ensuring that political ads are not created or utilized under false pretenses is paramount to maintaining an electoral system that the public can trust in.”
Public Citizen is urging the Federal Election Commission to create a rule banning deceptive A.I.-generated content, and has called on both major parties and their presidential candidates to pledge not to use A.I. deepfakes in campaigns.