Bets using AI, deepfake videos in campaign face raps

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Bets using AI, deepfake videos in campaign face raps
Comelec Chairman George Garcia on February 13, 2024.
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — Candidates who use artificial intelligence (AI) and deepfake videos during the campaign for the May 2025 midterm elections may face legal suits, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced yesterday.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said they would file complaints against candidates who use AI and deepfakes.

On Wednesday, the poll chief said they were planning to prohibit the use of AI and deepfakes during the campaign for next year’s elections.

“We will issue a resolution, which will be the basis in filing cases against the candidates,” Garcia said.

“They can appeal the case before the Supreme Court if they think there’s something wrong with the resolution. But at least there are efforts against the use of AI and deepfakes, which are dangerous,” he added.

Garcia noted that the Comelec is authorized by law to regulate the candidates’ campaign materials.

He pointed out that the use of AI and deepfakes is tantamount to misrepresentation.

Garcia is pushing for the enactment of a law regulating the social media accounts of election candidates.

But in the absence of the law, he said Comelec would soon issue a resolution banning the use of AI and deepfakes in the campaign.

Garcia expressed optimism that social media platforms would automatically take down campaign postings of candidates that misinform the voters.

The Comelec can also pursue a case against social media platforms behind those deepfakes and AI, he said.

Garcia said the poll body is ment with social media platforms to regulate its use during the campaign period.

Garcia pointed out that filing a “candidacy is just a privilege and not an absolute right of a person, thus it can be regulated.”

Sen. Imee Marcos lauded the Comelec’s move to ban the use of AI and deepfakes.

“It will encourage transparency throughout the campaign process,” said Marcos, who chairs the Senate electoral reforms committee.

But she expressed doubt if the Comelec is equipped to crack down on the growing use of computer-generated and false images online.

“I am not certain if the Comelec, or any government agency for that matter, has the capability to efficiently and timely detect the use of AI and deepfakes,” Marcos said.

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. said “technological advancements should not be used to spread lies.”

Revilla said politicians who would use deepfakes “have no good intentions, but their own self-serving interests.”  – Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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