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Bill combatting AI manipulation during elections heads to the House

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The new bill would allow candidates to ask courts to block AI deep fakes misrepresenting them during elections. It would also require AI visual or audio media to be clearly labeled or disclosed as such.

A bill to combat the use of audio, video or images created or manipulated with artificial intelligence during elections is moving along to the House floor.

House Bill 407 would allow candidates to ask courts to block AI deep fakes misrepresenting them during elections. It would also require AI visual or audio media to be clearly labeled or disclosed as such.

House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) sponsored the bipartisan bill withRep. Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa). At the House Judiciary Rule and Administration Committee hearing on Thursday, Rubel said the text was first and foremost meant to protect the public and the integrity of elections.

“This is very separate from a defamation suit,” she said. “The goal of this is not to protect us.”

"The level of technical manipulation that's that's possible now is very different from anything that voters are accustomed to filtering,” Rubel added.

Everyone who testified supported the bill, including Idaho Native Marsha Bravo. A military veteran and retired educator, she said informed citizens were vital to the democratic process.

“We all deserve to know that images related to candidates and elections on the internet are real,” she said. “Innovations in technology are happening at an astounding rate. On a personal level, it is very difficult for me to keep up with the latest things. As such, I can easily be fooled by AI and clearly taken advantage of.”

The Minority Leader said legislators should anticipate discussing more AI related bills as the world grapples with the implications of the new technology.

Some committee members expressed concerns the text didn’t include mandatory penalties, but the bill was still sent to the House floor for further discussion.

“We are probably going to have to pass 50 bills on AI before the end of next year. I think we are just starting to wrap our head around all the mischief that's going to come out of this,” Rubel said.

Introduced earlier in the month, House Bill 391 would make it illegal to use AI generated images of a sexual nature to harass victims whose likeness is being depicted.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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