Florida bill could outlaw use of artificial intelligence in campaign ads

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(The Center Square) — A Florida Senate committee approved a bill on Tuesday that will regulate the use of artificial intelligence in campaign ads.

The Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections also approved at its meeting several bills related to campaign finance and one that would limit the terms of county commissioners.

Senate Bill 850 addresses the growing use of generative artificial intelligence in Florida politics and was reported favorably. Bill sponsor Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R- St. Petersburg, told the committee that the legislation aims to address rising concerns around deceptive campaign advertising by mandating disclaimers on political ads containing specific AI-generated content.

“The increasing access to sophisticated AI-generated content threatens the integrity of elections by facilitating the dissemination of misleading or completely fabricated information that appears more realistic than ever,” Di Ceglie said, adding, “The technology that produces this content has advanced rapidly and outpaced government regulation.”

DiCeglie added that the bill further defines generative AI as a machine-based system that can for a given set of human objectives, emulate the structure and characteristics of input data to generate derived synthetic content including images, video, audio and text.

Senate Joint Resolution 1114 and its implementing bill SB 1116 were reported favorably by the committee and is sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast. The resolution would amend the state Constitution to repeal the public financing program for statewide elections.

Sen. Tina Scott Polsky, D-Boca Raton, stated that she believes the bill would help one party over the other because Republicans have a larger bankroll.

“It is very clear that the Republican party has a lot more money, funding, outside groups, special interest groups who help pay for campaigns than the Democratic party has in Florida,” Polsky said. “As a result, it seems that this would be a negative for Democratic candidates.”

Hutson’s SB 884 further clarifies the authority of the Division of Elections to audit campaign finance reports and authorizes a candidate required to dispose of surplus funds and report such to, before disposition, request the Division of Elections audit the required report.

SB 438 is sponsored by Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, and was reported favorably by the committee. It would create term limits for county commissioners no longer than eight years.

SB 782 is sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, was successful and would require precinct election boards to have at least one member of each of the two largest political parties included in their respective membership requirements.

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