POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Meta prohibits generative AI tools for political ads

Nov 7, 2023, 11:00 AM

Meta logo on phone...

Meta is prohibiting political advertisers from using the company’s new, artificial intelligence tools to help limit the technology’s potential risks. (Mandatory Credit: Onur Dogman/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

(Mandatory Credit: Onur Dogman/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

(CNN) — Meta is prohibiting political advertisers from using the company’s new, artificial intelligence tools that help brands generate text, backgrounds and other marketing content, in what the company says is a decision to limit the technology’s potential risks.

A company spokesperson told CNN that Meta has updated its policies surrounding the advertising tools to restrict their use by ad campaigns that may be related to elections, politics and social issues.

The limitations also apply to ad campaigns that “qualify as ads for Housing, Employment or Credit,” or those that are “related to Health, Pharmaceuticals or Financial Services,” according to a public note appearing on the informational pages for the affected AI features.

“We believe this approach will allow us to better understand potential risks and build the right safeguards for the use of Generative AI in ads that relate to potentially sensitive topics in regulated industries,” the note continues.

The restrictions were first reported by Reuters.

The generative AI features in question include a tool that can automatically propose changes to content that is uploaded by advertisers and that offers to improve an ad’s effectiveness. For example, it may volunteer music suggestions or apply 3D animations to uploaded images.

Other tools affected by the restrictions include one that creates product backgrounds and another that edits marketing text.

The restrictions come as policymakers and civil society groups have increasingly warned about the disruption that AI-generated content could wreak on the democratic process by misleading voters.

In September, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced legislation to ban the use of so-called AI “deepfakes” from political ads.

And in August, the Federal Election Commission kickstarted a process that could eventually regulate or prohibit the use of AI in political ads.

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Meta prohibits generative AI tools for political ads