Bipartisan bill would mandate disclosure of ‘substantial’ AI use in political ads

The legislation would require disclosure of AI-generated content and direct the Federal Election Commission to deal with violations quickly.
(Getty Images)

Political advertisements containing AI-generated images, audio or video would need to include a statement disclosing the use of that content under a new bipartisan Senate bill.

The bill, called the “AI Transparency in Elections Act” (S. 3875), is co-sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and comes amid increasing concerns that artificial intelligence could be used to deceive voters. 

“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,” Klobuchar said in a Wednesday statement.

The legislation would require the Federal Election Commission to create criteria for determining when a “covered communication” contains content “substantially generated by” AI and develop what to include in the disclosure, according to bill text provided to FedScoop. The FEC would also be required to deal with violations promptly, per the release.


Murkowski underscored the simplicity of the legislation in a statement included in the release, pointing to its narrow focus on substantial use of AI.

“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,” Murkowski said.

While so-called “deepfakes” have been a concern for some time, the growing prevalence and capabilities of AI tools have intensified worries about its use in the 2024 election cycle.  

Already, AI-generated political content is being shared online, including apparently fake images of former President Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci hugging that were shared by Ron DeSantis’ Republican presidential campaign last year, as reported by NPR. 

The new legislation is also not the first bill to attempt to address disclosure of AI content. 


Last year, Klobuchar and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., introduced the “REAL Political Advertisements Act” (S. 1596; H.R. 3044) in the House and Senate, which would similarly require “a statement if the communication contains an image or video footage that was generated in whole or in part with the use of AI,” according to the bill summary. But that legislation, so far, has attracted only Democratic support.

Madison Alder

Written by Madison Alder

Madison Alder is a reporter for FedScoop in Washington, D.C., covering government technology. Her reporting has included tracking government uses of artificial intelligence and monitoring changes in federal contracting. She’s broadly interested in issues involving health, law, and data. Before joining FedScoop, Madison was a reporter at Bloomberg Law where she covered several beats, including the federal judiciary, health policy, and employee benefits. A west-coaster at heart, Madison is originally from Seattle and is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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