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New Hampshire lawmakers take on AI in political ads

Representatives Hall before the New Hampshire House of Representatives convenes. Dan Tuohy photo 2022 / NHPR
Dan Tuohy
/
NHPR
Representatives Hall

Political ads featuring deceptive synthetic media would be required to include disclosure language under a bill passed Thursday by the New Hampshire House.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence tools, such as voice-cloning software and image generators, already are in use in elections in the U.S. and around the world, leading to concerns about the rapid spread of misinformation.

In New Hampshire, authorities are investigating robocalls sent to thousands of voters just before the Jan. 21 presidential primary that featured an AI-generated voice mimicking President Joe Biden. Steve Kramer, a political consultant, later said he orchestrated the calls to publicize the potential dangers of artificial intelligence and spur action from lawmakers. But the attorney general's office has said the calls violated the state's voter suppression law.

The bill sent to the Senate on Thursday would require disclosure when deceptive artificial intelligence is used in political advertising within 90 days of an election. Such disclosures would explain that the advertising’s image, video or audio “has been manipulated or generated by artificial intelligence technology and depicts speech or conduct that did not occur.”

The bill, which passed without debate, includes exemptions for satire or parody.

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