AI that alters voice and imagery in political ads will require disclosure on Google and YouTube

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. disclaimer / dɪsˈkleɪ mər / (n.) – a formal statement that says someone doesn’t have legal responsibility for something he/she has done or said

    The video that I watched had a disclaimer. It said that the information she presented should not be taken as medical advice.

  2. reelect / ri ɪˈlɛkt / (v.) – to put someone in a political position again

    She was reelected as vice president of the student government.

  3. armored / ˈɑr mərd / (adj.) – covered or protected by a special material against weapons

    The president of the country rode an armored car to the airport.

  4. defect / ˈdi fɛkt / (n.) – a fault or error that makes something not work properly or correctly

    The product I received had defects so the shop sent me a new one.

  5. formerly / ˈfɔr mər li / (adv.) – in the past

    We formerly owned this restaurant. We sold it because we needed money.


Read the text below.

Google will soon require that political ads using artificial intelligence be accompanied by a prominent disclosure if imagery or sounds have been synthetically altered.

AI-generated election ads on YouTube and other Google platforms that alter people or events must include a clear disclaimer located somewhere that users are likely to notice, the company said in an update to its political content policy.

The new rule starts in mid-November, just under a year before the U.S. presidential election. It will also affect campaign ads ahead of next year’s elections in India, South Africa, the European Union and other regions where Google already has a verification process for election advertisers.

Though fake images, videos or audio clips are not new to political advertising, generative AI tools are making it easier to do, and more realistic. Some presidential campaigns in the 2024 race — including that of Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis — already are using the technology.

The Republican National Committee in April released an entirely AI-generated ad meant to show the future of the United States if President Joe Biden is reelected. It employed fake but realistic photos showing boarded-up storefronts, armored military patrols in the streets, and waves of immigrants creating panic.

Google is not banning AI outright in political advertising. Exceptions to the ban include synthetic content altered or generated in a way that’s inconsequential to the claims made in the ad. AI can also be used in editing techniques like image resizing, cropping, color, defect correction, or background edits.

The ban will apply to election ads on Google’s own platforms, particularly YouTube, as well as third-party websites that are part of Google’s ad display network.

Google’s action could put some pressure on other platforms to follow its lead. Facebook and Instagram parent Meta doesn’t have a rule specific to AI-generated political ads but already restricts “faked, manipulated or transformed” audio and imagery used for misinformation. TikTok doesn’t allow any political ads. X, formerly Twitter, didn’t immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think it’s fair to use AI for political ads? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think governments should regulate the use of AI in political advertising, or should it be left to platforms like Google and Facebook? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How important is transparency in political advertising, especially in the age of advanced technology and AI? Why is it important for voters to know if content has been altered by AI? Discuss.
  • How do you think the use of AI in political ads will change the way voters perceive and trust political ads (ex. people will not believe them, people will be convinced to vote for the candidate)? Why? Discuss.