Klobuchar leads legislation to regulate AI in political ads by requiring a disclaimer on ads that use AI-generated content

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, released the statement below following Google’s announcement that the company will begin requiring advertisers to disclose when an election ad includes content generated with artificial intelligence tools. 

“While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, we can’t solely rely on voluntary commitments. More must be done to ensure our laws can keep up with this changing technology. Voters deserve nothing less than full transparency, and I’m continuing to push to immediately pass stronger disclosure laws that account for AI-manipulated content in campaign ads, as well as to ban deceptive AI-generated content in our elections and counter the spread of election-related disinformation.”

In May, Klobuchar 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).

In July, Klobuchar and U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) wrote to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) encouraging the Commission to begin a rulemaking to regulate fraudulent AI-generated campaign ads. 

In July, Klobuchar reintroduced the Freedom to Vote Act. This landmark legislation to strengthen our democracy is cosponsored by all Senate Democrats and includes important reforms to strengthen our campaign finance system by combatting secret money in our elections. All Senate Democrats also cosponsored this legislation last Congress and voted to advance the bill in January 2022.

In June, Klobuchar and U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-VT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino for answers after reporting highlighted a significant reduction of staff dedicated to countering misinformation. In light of these layoffs, the senators expressed concerns about these companies’ ability to effectively respond to election-related disinformation, including deceptive AI-generated content about elections and campaigns. 

In February, Klobuchar 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.