SAN FRANCISCO ― Google said it will mandate that political advertisements on its platforms disclose when images and audio have been altered or created using tools such as artificial intelligence (AI).
The change to Google’s ad policy is to take effect in November, about a year ahead of what is likely to be a contentious US presidential election and as fears mount that generative AI will be used to mislead voters.
“For years we’ve provided additional levels of transparency for election ads,” a Google spokesperson said in response to an AFP query.
“Given the growing prevalence of tools that produce synthetic content, we’re expanding our policies a step further to require advertisers to disclose when their election ads include material that’s been digitally altered or generated.”
In June, a Ron DeSantis campaign video attacking former US President Donald Trump featured images bearings markings of having been created using AI, an AFP Fact Check team determined.
The video shared in a tweet at X, formerly known as Twitter, contained photos that appeared altered to show Trump embracing Anthony Fauci, a key member of the US coronavirus task force, with kisses on the cheek, according to AFP Fact Check.
Google’s ad policies already ban manipulating digital media to deceive or mislead people about politics, social issues, or matters of public concern.
Google requires political ads to disclose who paid for them, and makes information about the messages available in an online ads library.
The coming update will require election-related ads to “prominently disclose” if they contain “synthetic content” that depicts real or realistic-looking people or events, according to Google.