We, as a whole, are in an odd situation when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, its usefulness and its application. On one hand, yes it can do some amazing things. On the other hand, the technology is so good, it can easily mislead people.

You can Google 'Fake AI News' and read horror stories about news articles created by Artificial Intelligence misleading people or straight up creating news stories that never happened in any capacity - it's scary, to be honest.

That brings us to Louisiana. House Bill 154 was designed to make it illegal to deceive voters with false impersonations or false depictions of political candidates through 'deepfakes'. For those that don't know, this is the definition of a deepfake: a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else, typically used maliciously or to spread false information.

Many states are beginning to pass such legislation. In Louisiana, the bill flew through the legislature. So, why did Governor Landry veto the bill?

Reasons Why Governor Jeff Landry Vetoed Deepfake Legislation in Louisiana

The Governor issued a statement on why he decided to veto the bill. Here's what he had to say:

While I applaud the efforts to prevent false political attacks, I believe this bill creates serious First Amendment concerns as it relates to emerging technologies. The law is far from settled on this issue, and I believe more information is needed before such regulations are enshrined into law.

The other part of this, according to the Louisiana Illuminator, is that the way the law was written never specifically mentioned 'Deepfake' or 'artificial intelligence'. Basically, the thought and spirit was there, but because the bill never specifically mentioned those things, it's really no different than the current election law. Legally speaking, it's already 'illegal' to knowingly deceive voters. Here's what the current law states:

No person shall cause to be distributed, or transmitted, any oral, visual, digital, or written material containing any statement which he knows or should be reasonably expected to know makes a false statement about a candidate for election in a primary or general election or about a proposition to be submitted to the voters.

So, vetoing House Bill 154 kind of makes sense since it left off some specific language.

However, the other law that Landry vetoed is a little bit more of a head scratcher. Senate Bill 97 would have required anyone making a 'deepfake' video to label it as such.

What Comes Next for Artificial Intelligence in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Legislature passed a resolution requesting the Committee on Technology & Cybersecurity to study and make recommendations on how to regulate artificial intelligence. There is is a similar initiative at the Federal Level too.

The big thing is that this is cutting edge technology. It can be a powerful tool to do wonderful things. It's also a powerful tool that can convince people that the biggest lies are truth. So, it's a very fine line and in the coming months and years, there will be regulations coming. We just don't know what they'll be just yet.

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