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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Aponte ask Electoral Comptroller for meeting on AI use in campaigns

Former President of the House of Representatives José Aponte.

By John McPhaul

Former President of the House of Representatives, José Aponte, is requesting the Electoral Comptroller, Walter Vélez, for a meeting to seek the implementation of regulations that delineate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms in political campaigns.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have been in communication with staff from the Office of Innovation and Technology Services (PRITS), who have taken the initiative to establish a regulatory framework for the use of AI in state government agencies, anticipating the new reality. However, there is no doubt that AI algorithms will be used in this political campaign that has already basically begun with the filing of candidacy aspirations in Puerto Rico. The appropriate thing to do is to implement a regulatory framework for campaigns,” Aponte said.

According to the statehooder, platforms such as YouTube and Google are already implementing regulations for the use of AI. For example, now, in campaign ads that alter the voice or image of a candidate, or change what an event is, they must have a “disclaimer” that indicates that it is not real, in addition to the information of who or what entity develops it.

“This is a concept that we can evaluate and use in Puerto Rico. In addition, it is necessary to study how the flow of money for the purchase of these ads on platforms such as ChatGPT, among others, is monitored. These are challenges that have to be addressed in the face of the primary and the 2024 general elections,” said the New Progressive Party legislator.

Some 31 states in the nation have implemented laws to regulate the use of artificial intelligence algorithms, including in political campaigns.

“As former speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, and current At Large representative, I have promoted legislation on various issues related to technological advances in the field of computing, including regulatory frameworks for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as ‘drones’, among others, that is why we want to work on this issue urgently,” Aponte said.

Among the pieces of legislation presented by Aponte on this issue is a measure which creates, by law, the first Cyber Crimes Division within the Department of Justice.

In May of this year, the Chief Operating Officer of Open AI, one of the leading companies in the field of AI and creator of the Chat GPT platform, held a meeting with multiple congressmen where he requested a regulatory framework, security standards and robust protocols to reduce the risks associated with this technology.

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