CHINA China bans AI-altered fake news, asks platforms to detect distorted videos

CHINA

China bans AI-altered fake news, asks platforms to detect distorted videos

Global Times

03:08, December 02, 2019

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Original MV of South Korean singer Kim Tae-yeon and a version with the face of actress Liu Yifei who starred in the Disney film Mulan. (Photo: TG)

 
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced a ban on fake video news produced with  artificial intelligence (AI)  in a move to address growing concerns over Deepfake technology's dissemination of altered pictures and videos that look convincing enough to be original. 

The ban will take effect on January 1, according to the CAC website.  Net users or video platforms will be prohibited from creating, distributing, or broadcasting news content altered by new technologies like deep learning and virtual reality.

Net users and platforms are required to noticeably mark AI-altered videos, according to the new CAC rule.

Platforms will be asked to implement methods to detect AI-altered videos and timely stop the circulation of unmarked ones.. A mechanism should be built to control rumors in case "fake videos" cause "fake news," said the CAC. 

The ban will require platforms to conduct risk evaluations before the launch of AI-based video services. 

Violators of the ban will be punished in line with existing laws regulating cyberspace security and cyberspace information services, and may face  administrative penalties or criminal prosecution depending on how serious the violation is. 

Analysts hailed the move as a timely legal action, demonstrating the system is keeping pace with social trends and the development of cyber technology. 

As the first regulation in China on the use  of AI in the media, it will address the problems brought about by AI face-changing and other related challenges, said Qin An, head of the Beijing-based Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, noting that the new regulation is practical and could open up a  market for video detection.  

An AI industry insider who spoke to the Global Times on the condition of anonymity said detecting AI-altered videos is not technologically challenging and  is cheaper than digitally altering faces.. 

The ban comes in the wake of increasing privacy concerns and legal conflicts regarding Deepfake technology. Deepfake pornography with celebrities' faces, a phenomenon in some Western countries, has emerged in China.

The Global Times previously found that underground sellers of pornography with actors' faces attract buyers at online forums and share videos via cloud drive link after receiving money through WeChat or Alipay. 

In September, the face-changing app ZAO apologized and revised its user terms twice after public accusations of potential abuse of users' privacy. A ZAO terms of use notice told users that by granting permission to the app to access data, they authorized the company's right to use their portraits for commercial use indefinitely and without users' consent.  


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