Google Tightens Reins On Deepfakes After Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Others Fall Prey

Google is stepping up its game to tackle the emerging challenge of deepfake or synthetic content, especially on platforms like YouTube. The tech giant is developing a policy to guide creators on the responsible use of AI-generated content and how to prevent its misuse.

What Happened? This new policy is all about transparency. It requires creators to disclose any alterations to reality and to label electoral advertisements created with GenAI. Plus, creators can now watermark their content using Google’s tools, adding an extra layer of authenticity.

Saikat Mitra, Google's Vice President and Head of Trust and Safety for the Asia-Pacific region, shared in an interview with Mint that YouTube plans to include disclaimers about deepfakes in video descriptions and, in more sensitive cases, within the videos themselves. Creators failing to disclose synthetic media could face consequences like account suspension or content removal, as per YouTube’s existing compliance guidelines.

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The urgency around regulating synthetic content was highlighted by deepfake videos targeting public figures, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and actors Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt and Rashmika Mandanna. Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently met with industry reps, including Google, to discuss regulations for AI-generated fake content.

Not as straightforward: The government is also drafting deepfake regulations and expects industry feedback soon. These regulations might come as amendments to existing laws or as new legislation specifically targeting deepfake content.

Mitra emphasized the need for a nuanced approach, noting that not all AI-generated content is harmful. Google plans to distinguish between benign and harmful synthetic content, with watermarking playing a crucial role.

Google has already implemented a global policy requiring clear disclosure of deepfakes in electoral content. As the debate around misinformation and AI-driven content heats up, tech firms are under increasing pressure to adapt and innovate in their response strategies.

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