House-Passed Bill Cracks Down On ‘Deep Fake’ Campaign Ads

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers are considering criminal charges for those who fail to disclose that a campaign ad is a “deep fake.”

The proposal comes as AI technology can be used to generate fake video and audio of a candidate seeming to say something they’ve never said. Representative JD Scholten of Sioux City says AI is cutting edge technology that’s being used to try to influence elections.

A bill that passed the House on a 93-to-one last week requires “deep fake” ads for candidates OR ballot initiatives in Iowa to include a disclaimer. That disclaimers has to say that the ad contains AI generated content that’s been manipulated. Representative Lindsay James of Dubuque says it’s an important step.  

The bill also would prohibit the use of artificial intelligence in electronic systems that count or mark ballots in Iowa elections. The bill must clear the Senate State Government Committee by Friday to remain eligible for consideration this year. All the policy bills that have passed the House this year face Friday’s deadline to win Senate committee approval. Senate-passed bills have to win approval from a House committee by Friday as well. Bills that deal with state taxes or spending are eligible for debate at any time.