States Ramp Up Efforts to Combat AI-Generated Deepfakes Ahead of 2024 Election

States Ramp Up Efforts to Combat AI-Generated Deepfakes | CyberPro Magazine

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Legislative Response to Deepfake Threat

States across the US are intensifying their efforts to tackle the proliferation of AI-generated deepfakes, fueled by concerns over deceptive practices leading up to the 2024 presidential election. According to recent research conducted by the Voting Rights Lab, over 100 bills in 40 state legislatures have been introduced or passed this year, aiming to regulate the potential misuse of artificial intelligence in spreading election-related disinformation.

Megan Bellamy, Vice President of Law and Policy at the Voting Rights Lab, highlighted the significance of these legislative initiatives. Some laws focus on enhancing transparency surrounding AI-generated content, while others target punitive measures against individuals or entities deliberately exploiting AI to deceive voters. Bellamy emphasized the critical nature of addressing this issue, given the unprecedented intersection of rising election-related myths, disinformation, and the rapid evolution of AI-generated content.

State Legislation Examples

Recent legislative actions in states like Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin illustrate the diverse approaches taken to combat the threat of AI-generated deepfakes. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed a bill mandating disclaimers on AI-generated content produced by political campaign affiliates, accompanied by penalties for non-compliance. However, Bellamy noted that Wisconsin’s law falls short in addressing misinformation propagated by unaffiliated groups or individuals.

Meanwhile, Florida awaits Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision on a bill requiring disclaimers for AI-generated political ads and materials, with penalties including potential incarceration. In Arizona, legislators are navigating a nuanced approach, aiming to balance AI regulation with constitutional considerations and federal laws such as Section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act.

Non-legislative Strategies and Preparedness

Beyond legislative measures, organizations like NewDeal are advocating for non-legislative tools to combat AI-generated deepfakes. Debbie Cox Bultan, CEO of NewDeal, emphasized the importance of incident response preparation and public awareness campaigns led by state officials. Several secretaries of state, including Maggie Toulouse Oliver of New Mexico and Jocelyn Benson of Michigan, are actively engaging in efforts to educate voters and enlist community leaders as trusted sources of information.

Bultan stressed the urgency of addressing this evolving threat, highlighting the potential for AI-generated deepfakes to disrupt elections and undermine public trust. She underscored the need for a collaborative, multi-pronged approach involving both legislative and non-legislative strategies to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, states are rallying to fortify their defenses against the proliferation of AI-generated deepfakes, recognizing the imperative of preserving the integrity and credibility of the democratic process.

Also Read: Top 10 Deepfake Software and Apps of 2024