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. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan AI Transparency in Elections Act to require disclaimers on political ads with images, audio, or video that are substantially generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The legislation requires political ads created or altered by AI to have a disclaimer, except when AI is used for only minor alterations, such as color editing, cropping, resizing, and other immaterial uses. The bill also requires the Federal Election Commission to address violations of the legislation quickly. 

“As AI continues to evolve into a powerful and widely available tool, Congress must put guardrails in place on the use of AI-generated content in elections so that people know if what they are seeing is real or AI-generated,” said Klobuchar. “As we work to ban deceptive deepfakes of candidates, we also need disclaimers to improve transparency in our elections so that whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, voters will know if the political ads they see are made using this technology.”

“This bipartisan bill is pretty simple. As we navigate new technology, like AI, we should have confidence that what we are hearing and seeing—especially when it comes to our elections—is factual, and real. Our bill only requires a disclaimer when political ads use AI in a significant way – something I think we can all agree we’d like to know,” said Murkowski.

Klobuchar has led efforts to address the threat of misleading AI-generated content and to increase transparency in our elections.

In February 2024, Klobuchar and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee,  successfully called on the EAC to assist state and local election officials in combating the spread of AI-generated disinformation about our elections by allowing election officials to use federal election funds to counter disinformation in our elections caused by artificial intelligence. This decision comes after Klobuchar and Collins’ letter calling on the EAC to take action to address AI-generated disinformation in elections. 

In October 2023, Klobuchar and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) sent a letter to the CEOs of Meta Platforms, Inc. and X Corp., Mark Zuckerberg and Linda Yaccarino, respectively, seeking information on how their organizations are addressing AI-generated content in political ads hosted on their social media platforms, and in November, Meta announced that it will bar the use of its generative AI tools in political ads and will require disclaimers on AI-generated political ads.

In September 2023, Klobuchar and Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law; Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; and Collins, introduced the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, bipartisan legislation to ban the use of AI to generate materially deceptive content falsely depicting federal candidates to influence federal elections. This legislation has also been cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE). Klobuchar also held a Senate Rules Committee hearing in September 2023 titled “AI and the Future of Elections,” highlighting the need to address the risks posed by AI to our democracy.

In February 2023, 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.