WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, and U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the REAL Political Ads Act. This legislation would require a disclaimer on political ads that use images or video generated by artificial intelligence. Companion legislation is led in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY).
“The emergence of artificial intelligence has shown us just how rapidly things can change as technology grows more sophisticated. For the first time in history, we’re seeing how artificial intelligence could be used to generate images and videos in political ads, creating new avenues for misleading content. Our laws need to keep up,” said Klobuchar. “This commonsense legislation would update our disclosure laws to improve transparency and ensure voters are aware when this technology is used in campaign ads.”
"Our democracy relies on transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to political advertising,” said Booker. “We must ensure that voters are fully aware of the source and authenticity of all political ads that seek to inform voters’ decisions. That's why I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that will regulate AI-generated content in political ads and empower citizens to make informed choices.”
“We are already seeing political advertisements making use of new AI tools, with huge implications for our democracy. This bill will bring more transparency and accountability to our elections by informing voters when AI is being used in political ads – an important step toward aligning its use with our democratic values,” said Bennet.
“Given the recent technological advances in artificial intelligence, the threat of AI-powered disinformation and misinformation has never been stronger. We cannot afford a reactive approach to this emerging technology, particularly when the 2024 election cycle is poised to be the first election where AI-generated content is prevalent. I’m proud to work alongside Senator Klobuchar and our colleagues to protect against AI-generated content that has the potential to mislead and deceive America’s voters,” said Clarke.
Klobuchar has long championed efforts to increase transparency in our elections and campaign finance system.
In February, she reintroduced the Honest Ads Act with U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Mark Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to improve the transparency and accountability of online political advertising by requiring online political advertisements to adhere to the same disclaimer requirements as TV, radio, and print ads.
In July 2022, as Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, Klobuchar held a hearing on the DISCLOSE Act, legislation to increase transparency in political spending by special interests.
In September 2021, Klobuchar introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, landmark legislation to strengthen our democracy, which included important reforms to strengthen our campaign finance system by combatting secret money in our elections, including both the DISCLOSE Act and Honest Ads Act. All Senate Democrats cosponsored this legislation and voted to advance the bill in January 2022.