Bipartisan Measure Prohibiting AI Interference in Elections Introduced by Pennycuick, Gebhard, Dillon, Kane

HARRISBURG – Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24), Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D-5), Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) and Sen. John Kane (D-9) today introduced legislation prohibiting the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to fraudulently misrepresent an election candidate in Pennsylvania.

 GenAI combines machine-learning algorithms with human-generated content to produce realistic images, videos, audio, and written content.

Under Senate Bill 1217, 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.

“While this technology has the potential to make content creation more efficient, it also has the power to spread disinformation at an unprecedented rate through deceptively realistic content,” said Pennycuick, who chairs the Senate Communications and Technology Committee. “It’s critical that we take steps to prevent such blatant election interference and allow voters to make informed decisions when casting ballots.”

“As AI technology advances, the potential for misuse to spread disinformation could seriously undermine the political process,” said Dillon. “Our bill aims to deter AI-generated impersonations in political ads, ensuring voters receive accurate information.”

“As technology advances, we must remain vigilant to safeguard the integrity of our elections as Artificial Intelligence evolves and continues to blur the line between what is reality and what is not,” said Gebhard.

“This is about truth in our elections,” said Kane. “We are introducing this legislation to safeguard the accuracy of information and protect our voters from the influence of fabricated content. Every vote should be based on truth, not deepfakes and AI generated deception.”

Rep. Tarik Khan (D-194) has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.

“People hate negative, misleading ads – but at least those ads were actual pictures and video of opponents. The negative ads of the future will be fully manufactured with only one goal: deception,” Khan said. “We can’t wait. We’re acting. We are standing with our Senate colleagues and reaching across the aisle to work together. This is how we safeguard our democracy and restore people’s trust.”

The Federal Election Commission is considering a proposal to limit false AI-generated political content, but regulatory action is uncertain. At least 14 states have adopted resolutions or enacted laws related to AI.

CONTACT: Lidia DiFiore (215) 541-2388

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