Rosenworcel Counters FEC AI ‘Chaos’ Claim With Call For Unity


    As partisan tempers flare in Washington, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel took an opportunity to urge unity in response to a barbed letter from Federal Election Commission head Sean Cooksey over potential political AI ad disclosure rules.

    At a forum hosted by U.S. News & World Report, Rosenworcel again outlined her proposal that aims to bring more transparency to political campaigns by requiring them to disclose the use of AI technologies in radio and television advertisements. She addressed FEC Chairman Cooksey’s concerns that the rule would “sow chaos among political campaigns” and that the FCC could disrupt the FEC’s sole authority over political communications as established by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

    The Chairwoman said, “For decades, the FCC has had policies requiring every single campaign ad to file in a public place saying who sponsored them, what they paid for it and when it ran. So we’re just suggesting they should also disclose whether or not they’ve used AI technology in that advertisement.”

    The FCC initiative is part of a broader effort to adapt existing regulatory frameworks to the evolving challenges posed by digital technologies in election campaigns.

    Chairwoman Rosenworcel referenced a case in New Hampshire where AI-generated robocalls, mimicking President Joe Biden’s voice, were used to suppress voter participation. This incident led to FCC action, affirming the illegality of such tactics under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

    The FCC’s response involved a combined $8 million penalty for both parties responsible.

    Despite the FEC challenge, Chairwoman Rosenworcel highlighted the importance of collaboration between federal and state agencies in tackling these issues. She noted her efforts to forge partnerships with state attorneys general, which have proven effective in quickly addressing and mitigating illegal activities associated with AI in political ads.

    She maintained that transparency is crucial, and that public disclosure of AI use in ads could serve as a foundational step towards ensuring electoral integrity and maintaining public trust in the democratic process.

    Radio listeners would appear to agree – in Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2024, respondents from both parties were notably concerned about the potential influence of artificial intelligence on the upcoming election outcomes. When it comes to unease about AI’s influence on the election 57% of Democrats are very concerned and 30% are somewhat concerned, while 52% of Republicans are very concerned and 32% are somewhat concerned.


    1. Power,by itself, doesn’t corrupt. It is the attempts to hold onto power that are corrupting.
      Don’t believe this FCC, like the rest of government, would remain neutral if such rules were enacted. Although the calendar is probably too short for anything to become effective in this election.
      Many of the PAC ads we see seem to be produced by the same small group of DC agencies, although there seems to be a new PAC with every flight. So besides opening up avenues for the lawyers to try to silence their political opponents with threatening letters to the stations, there will be continuing war in the courts between political opponents trying to silence the other campaign. Best to leave such regulation to the FEC.


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