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Google Will Soon Mandate Disclosures For AI-Generated Content By Election Advertisers

“The disclosure must be clear and conspicuous, and must be placed in a location where it is likely to be noticed by users. This policy will apply to image, video, and audio content,” Google said in a blog post.

To combat misinformation during elections, Google is set to update its political content policy in November 2023 mandating election advertisers to add disclosures for advertisements that contain AI-generated content. According to a blogpost by the company, verified election advertisers in regions where verification is required will have to “prominently disclose” when their ads contain “synthetic content that inauthentically depicts real or realistic-looking people or events.”

This would include ads that show AI-generated images or videos of a person saying something that they did not say in reality. For example, deep fake videos or hoax content depicting a politician making tall claims about a welfare initiative. Other ads that would require disclosures are those that use synthetic content to manipulate visuals of a real event or “generate a realistic portrayal of an event” to show scenes that never took place in the offline world.

The blog stated that, “This disclosure must be clear and conspicuous, and must be placed in a location where it is likely to be noticed by users. This policy will apply to image, video, and audio content.”

What will be exempted? If the synthetic content or AI-generated element is incorporated in a manner that does not have any impact on the claims made in the ad, such ads will be exempted from the disclosure requirement. “This includes editing techniques such as image resizing, cropping, color or brightening corrections, defect correction (for example, “red eye” removal), or background edits that do not create realistic depictions of actual events,” as per the blog,

Why it matters: As countries approach the 2024 election year alongside fast-paced advancements in the AI sector, the use of emerging technology for election campaigns and communication is triggering fears around the dissemination of misinformation and manipulated content. Deep fakes of several famous personalities, including celebrities and politicians, are being used to spread tailored messages that push propaganda-related content on the internet. For example, in 2020, Manoj Tiwari, a Bharatiya Janata Party politician from Delhi, used deep fake videos during an election campaign. Recently, Rest of the World also reported on how deep fakes can be used by Indian politicians either as a cover or to target political opponents during elections. Given that most of the election-related news and content from several countries would be published on YouTube, mandatory disclaimers would alert the viewers. But, how will Google ensure compliance by advertisers or even detect AI-generated content in videos remains a question. In August, Google DeepMind launched SynthID for watermarking and identifying AI-generated images, but the tool has its own limitations.

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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