Google Takes Action Against AI in Political Ads

Google Takes Action Against AI in Political Ads

images provided by pixabay

This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

With artificial intelligence tools making image creation and manipulation so easily accessible, many fear their effect on upcoming elections worldwide, and the potential disaster misinformation could cause.

Starting November, Google will require political ads on any of its platforms to disclose whether any of the included media has been created using artificial intelligence. A Google spokesperson stated that the rules are being created as a response to the “growing prevalence of tools that produce synthetic content.”

This change will be instated a year ahead of the upcoming US election, and for good reason, since there are fears that AI will falsely influence their results, with disinformation being spread around the campaigns.

According to BBC News, Google’s current ad policies already ban the manipulation of digital media to mislead users about politics, social issues, or matters of public concern. The difference with this update is that it will require election-related ads to “prominently disclose” if they contain “synthetic content” that depicts real or realistic-looking people or events.

Google states that disclosures of digitally altered content in election ads must be “clear and conspicuous” and put where they are likely to be noticed. Possible labels could be “this image does not depict real events” or “this video content was synthetically generated.”

Examples of what would warrant a label included synthetic imagery or audio showing a person saying or doing something they did not do, or depicting an event that did not occur.

Several disturbing examples that have already been used include a deepfake video depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talking of surrendering to Russia, and fake photos of Donald Trump embracing Anthony Fauci (a key member of the US coronavirus task force) and kissing him on the cheek.

While faked imagery is nothing new, the speed of progress within the generative AI field and the potential for misuse are definitely worrying, and Google stated that it continues to invest in technology to detect and remove such content.