JUNEAU – Today, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 358. This landmark piece of legislation would make it illegal to alter a person’s identity using artificial intelligence (AI) without their consent. “This is entirely new law”, said the bill sponsor Representative Mike Cronk (R-Tok). “This issue is growing so fast it has erased any partisan politics”, continued Rep. Cronk.

In light of the increasing prevalence of AI identity abuse, commonly referred to as “Deep Fake,” HB 358 emerges as a critical safeguard against the unauthorized manipulation of individuals’ voices and images through artificial intelligence. This legislation not only defines the concept of Deep Fake but also imposes prohibitions on its various uses, particularly in sensitive areas like “electioneering communications.” Moreover, HB 358 establishes the civil threshold for legal recourse in cases where Deep Fake causes harm, ensuring that affected individuals have recourse to seek justice. Additionally, certain exemptions are outlined in the bill, offering protection to parties under specific circumstances, such as social media companies conducting searches to identify instances of Deep Fake without incurring liability. With its comprehensive definitions and provisions, HB 358 lays the groundwork for addressing the challenges posed by AI identity manipulation in our statutes, marking a pivotal step towards protecting individuals’ digital identities.

Following weeks of deliberation and careful crafting of the language by the House Judiciary Committee, HB358 advanced to the House floor for full consideration. Judiciary Chair, Representative Sarah Vance (R-Homer) expressed gratitude to all committee members for their collaborative efforts in shaping this crucial legislation. “This bill provides transparency and civil recourse against people who seek to deceive Alaskans with the use of AI”, said Rep. Vance.

Representative Cronk introduced the bill based on research in other states and actions in Congress to reign in the misuse of AI. “The potential for personal and public damage is increasing every day. It is getting nearly impossible to know what is real and what is “Deep Fake”. This initial legislation is just the foundation to build on as we protect people and their identities”, said Rep. Cronk.

HB 358 now heads to the Senate.