In response to the growing widespread of AI-generated imitative content, Google is set to implement new rules that demand transparency in political advertising on its platforms. A Google spokesperson informed the BBC that this change is motivated by concerns that AI may fuel disinformation campaigns, and it is scheduled to appear in November, a year before the next US presidential election.
Google's existing advertising policies already prohibit the manipulation of digital media to deceive or mislead the public about political, social, or public interest matters. However, these new guidelines will require election-related ads to prominently disclose any synthetic content that portrays real or lifelike individuals or events. Google suggests using labels like "this image does not depict real events" or "this video content was synthetically generated" as clear indicators.
Beyond just regulating synthetic content, Google is committed to preventing demonstrably false claims that could erode trust in the election process. This stance aligns with the tech giant's ad policy, which also mandates the disclosure of ad sponsors and the availability of ad content information in an online library.
Digital alterations in election ads must be disclosed in a "clear and prominent" manner and placed where viewers are likely to notice.
Examples of content warranting such labels include synthetic imagery or audio portraying individuals saying or doing things they didn't do or events that didn't occur.
Recent incidents highlight the importance of these regulations. In March, a manipulated image of former US President Donald Trump being falsely arrested circulated on social media, generated using AI tools.
Similarly, a deepfake video in March featured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussing surrender to Russia. In June, a campaign video for Ron DeSantis attacking former President Trump included images with AI-generated markings.
Experts in the field of AI have voiced concerns about the rapid advancements in generative AI and the potential for misuse. While manipulated imagery is not a new phenomenon, the pace of AI development raises alarm bells. Google remains committed to investing in technology to detect and remove such content, underlining its dedication to combatting the spread of misleading information in the digital age.
Google is taking a proactive step towards safeguarding transparency in political advertising on its platforms. These new rules, set to be implemented in November, a year ahead of the next US presidential election, underscore Google's commitment to upholding the integrity of the democratic process. By demanding clear and prominent disclosures for election-related ads featuring synthetic content, Google aims to tackle the potential for disinformation campaigns fueled by AI. Recent incidents have emphasized the urgency of these regulations, highlighting the alarming misuse of AI technology. Google's dedication to investing in technology to detect and remove such content reflects its unwavering commitment to combatting the dissemination of misleading information in our digital age.
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