Hawley Urges Senate Leadership to Protect Americans and U.S. Elections from Deceptive AI

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Today in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law hearing, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ranking Member of the subcommittee, criticized Senate leadership’s failure to send legislation to the floor to protect Americans and the U.S. electoral process from the worst effects of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.  

“Let’s not allow these same companies that control the social media technology in this country, that control the news in this country to also now use AI to further their hammer-hold on the United States of America and on our political process,” said Senator Hawley.

Senator Hawley also warned of the alarming uptick in sexually explicit “deepfake” imagery circulating online. He urged his Senate colleagues to act on legislation that would give Americans the power to sue those who produce or host illegal deepfakes.

“The problem is that this committee and other committees have heard mountainous evidence that these same platforms are absolutely awash in [child sexual abuse material] that is not digitally created . . . It’s actual people. . . . We have got to allow Americans, ordinary Americans, individual citizens, we have got to allow them to get into court, and to hold accountable legally companies who are producing or hosting this content,” said Senator Hawley.

Click here to watch Senator Hawley’s full exchange.

Senator Hawley has been at the forefront of introducing legislation to protect American users and voters from nascent AI. 

He previously joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in introducing the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, a bipartisan bill to ban the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate materially deceptive content falsely depicting federal candidates in political ads to influence federal elections.

Senator Hawley also introduced the bipartisan No Section 230 Immunity for AI Act with Senator Blumenthal to ensure consumers have the tools they need to protect themselves from harmful content produced by the latest advancements in AI technology.