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A bill requiring campaign advertisements to include a disclaimer if they use artificial intelligence (AI) passed through the House Ethics, Elections & Open Government Committee, but some members questioned how it would work in practice as the election cycle kicks into gear.

Rep. Rita Harris, an Orlando Democrat, asked who would be liable if a campaign vendor or contractor didn’t tell a candidate or campaign they used AI in making an ad. Rep. Mike Caruso, a Delray Beach Republican, also wanted to know how large the font size of the disclaimer would need to be.

The bill (HB 919) doesn’t spell out those details, but sponsor Rep. Alex Rizo, a Hialeah Republican, said he’s willing to add those specifics. He said the main purpose of the bill is to get ahead of the use of AI in campaigns, which could be used to portray a candidate saying or doing something they never did.

“We are in a brave new world,” Rizo said. “Now with the emergence of artificial intelligence we can actually have someone create an image that looks and sounds exactly like any one of us.”

Under the bill, campaign ads using AI must state “created in whole or in part with the use of generative artificial intelligence.” Violations would be punished with a fine of up to $2,500 by the Florida Elections Commission.

Although the bill passed 15-2 with majority support, two Democrats, Reps. Ashley Gantt of Miami and Felicia Robinson of Miami Gardens, voted against the bill over concerns about where liability would rest for a violation of the disclosure requirement.

“I would like to work with you to get the language necessary to make sure we know who would be the liable party,” Gantt said. “I’m going to be down today so we can work on it. That doesn’t mean I won’t be up later.”

The Senate version of the bill (SB 850) passed through the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Tuesday by a 5-3 vote, with Democrats opposed. It was also amended to make each violation a first-degree misdemeanor.

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