News Tip: AI In Campaign Ads Could Exploit, Damage 1st Amendment Protections, Expert Says

News Tip: AI In Campaign Ads Could Exploit, Damage 1st Amendment Protections, Expert Says

Summary: Inaction by federal officials to regulate the use of AI in campaign ads means voters can expect more misinformation than usual this election season. Comments below from Duke University professor Phil Napoli, who studies the regulation of social media, are available for use in your coverage.

Quotes:
“Presumably our biggest concern about the use of AI in political campaign communication is the way that it can be used as a tool for disinformation – as a way of misleading voters through manufacturing voices and images that have no basis in reality,” says Phil Napoli, a professor of public policy and director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke.

“The irony here is that any such regulations ultimately crash into a First Amendment tradition that has provided a tremendous amount of protection for falsity – even intentional lies intended to manipulate voters. AI has the potential to exploit this protection in new and very damaging ways.”

“In terms of the FCC Commissioner Carr’s point that the FCC’s proposed regs would create confusion since they would only apply to TV and radio advertising, it is worth noting that our system of political campaign regulation already applies different rules to different media. For instance, broadcasters must accept candidates’ ads regardless of the content; whereas cable networks/systems and online platforms are not obligated to do so.”

“Also, broadcasters and cable systems are required to provide discounted advertising rates to political candidates. Print media and online platforms operate under no such regulations. So the notion that medium-specific regulations will sow confusion seems a bit surprising in light of the system that has long been in place.”

Bio:
Phil Napoli
Phil Napoli is a professor of public policy and director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke, where he researches new ideas for social media regulation, news deserts and the contraction of news media.

For additional comment, contact Phil Napoli at:
philip.napoli@duke.edu


Media Contact:
Steve Hartsoe
steve.hartsoe@duke.edu

_        _        _        _

Duke experts on a variety of topics can be found here.

Follow Duke News on Twitter: @DukeNews

###