7 Sep 2023

Election 2023: Updates on 7 September - Call for politicians to follow Google's lead on AI advertising

5:20 pm on 7 September 2023

A technology advocacy group is applauding Google's new policy on AI advertising.

From November, the tech giant will require political ads to include a disclaimer if they use any content generated by AI algorithms.

The new rule will impact ads on Google's search engine and its video-sharing platform YouTube.

Tech Users Association of New Zealand chief executive Craig Young said it was a "good step forward" for the advertising industry.

"Obviously they're really concerned about the use of this technology in next year's American elections," he said.

"Unfortunately it's too late for our election in October, but I'd be really keen to see our politicians and political parties follow [Google's] lead and if they do use generative AI in their adverts that they clearly mark that out."

Last month Young penned an open letter to Labour and National, outlining advice on how the next government should handle AI technology.

With Google's wide influence in the world of online advertising, Young hoped the decision would cause ripples throughout the industry.

"Google is, by a long shot, the most popular search engine," he said. "So they tend to lead, and in this case let's hope it has a positive impact on all the other advertising."

The Advertising Standards Authority said it was yet to see any complaints over AI-generated content in election ads.

Chief executive Hilary Soulter said the agency was more concerned with whether content was misleading, rather than the tools used to generate it.

Young said it "wouldn't hurt" if the ASA provided guidance on how to use AI ethically.

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