Comelec considers prohibiting AI and deepfakes

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering a ban on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deepfakes during the campaign for the May 2025 midterm elections. Comelec Chairman George Garcia revealed the plan, citing concerns about the potential for AI and deepfakes to spread misinformation and deceive voters. The use of AI and deepfakes, according to Garcia, poses a threat to democracy and the integrity of the electoral process.

In addition to addressing the use of AI and deepfakes, the Comelec also announced plans to prohibit the substitution of party-list nominees in the upcoming elections. Garcia explained that the new requirement for party-list groups to submit 10 nominees instead of five aims to prevent last-minute substitutions that could be unfair to other candidates.

Meanwhile, over 3.2 million new voters have applied for registration since the resumption of voter registration in February. The Comelec reported that they have already exceeded their target of 3 million new voters and will continue to encourage eligible individuals to register until the September 30 deadline.

In a significant development, the Comelec awarded the contract for the online voting and counting system (OVCS) to be used in overseas voting for next year’s polls. The joint venture SMS Global Technologies and Sequent Tech Inc. won the contract with the lowest bid of P112 million, resulting in substantial savings for the government.

The official calendar of activities for the 2025 midterm elections was also released by the Comelec, outlining key dates and timelines for candidates and voters. The election period will begin on January 12 and end on June 11, with various campaign periods and voting schedules specified in the calendar.

Former Caloocan representative Edgar Erice challenged the Comelec to demonstrate the efficacy of the automated counting machines (ACMs) manufactured by a Korean firm for the elections. Erice raised concerns about the legality and safety of the hybrid election system proposed by the Comelec, advocating for the continued use of the old ACMs instead.

Leave a Reply