Khan leads bipartisan group of state legislators to introduce bill prohibiting misuse of AI in campaign advertising

HARRISBURG, Dec. 21 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., and a bipartisan group of state representatives announced plans today to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of artificial intelligence to misrepresent a candidate in a campaign advertisement.

“In terms of AI, elections, and regulations, it’s the Wild Wild West. Without significant protections, artificial intelligence and ‘deep fakes’ will have a catastrophic impact on elections, creating confusion and mistrust of the system as technology evolves,” said Khan, who is one of the co-prime sponsors of this bill. “This bill will create some of those essential protections and help to keep our elections safe, accurate, and free from misinformation tactics.”

 Under this legislation, the dissemination of a campaign advertisement containing an artificially generated impersonation of a candidate would be prohibited if done without consent and with the intent to unduly influence the outcome of the election.

State Rep. Chris Pielli, D-Chester, another co-prime sponsor of the legislation, shared similar concerns.

“Protecting and ensuring our free and fair elections is the bedrock of our Democracy. Adversaries to this concept, both foreign and domestic, now have a devastating tool to undermine our elections with the use of deceptive AI-generated material,” Pielli said. “We must address this national security, bipartisan issue head on. I urge all my colleagues to join us in this most important legislation.”

Khan noted that the Federal Election Commission is considering a proposal to limit false AI-generated political content, and at least 14 states have already adopted resolutions or enacted laws related to AI.

"We must take responsible precautions in our elections process to guard against the misuse of technology, including artificial intelligence,” said state Rep. Robert Mercuri, R-Allegheny, another co-prime sponsor of the PA House bill. “This smart piece of legislation will move us forward to continue to earn the trust of voters, while disallowing any misuse of candidate images through artificial intelligence."

The bipartisan legislation is expected to be considered in the PA House once the legislature returns to session in March.