Deepfake technology: how and why China is planning to regulate it

Source: The post is based on the article “Deepfake technology: how and why China is planning to regulate it” published in The Hindu on 19th December 2022

What is the News?

The Cyberspace Administration of China is rolling out new regulations to restrict the use of deep synthesis technology and curb disinformation.

What is Deep Synthesis Technology?

Deep synthesis is defined as the use of technologies, including deep learning and augmented reality, to generate text, images, audio and video to create virtual scenes. 

One of the most notorious applications of technology is deepfakes.

What is Deepfake?

Deepfakes are a compilation of artificial images and audio put together with machine-learning algorithms to spread misinformation and replace a real person’s appearance, voice, or both with similar artificial likenesses or voices. 

It can create people who do not exist and it can fake real people saying and doing things they did not say or do.

What is China’s new policy to curb deepfakes?

The policy requires deep synthesis service providers and users to ensure that any doctored content using the technology is explicitly labelled and can be traced back to its source.

The regulation also mandates people using the technology to edit someone’s image or voice, to notify and take the consent of the person in question. When reposting news made by the technology, the source can only be from the government-approved list of news outlets. 

Deep synthesis service providers must also abide by local laws, respect ethics and maintain the correct political direction and correct public opinion orientation.

What are other countries doing to combat deepfakes?

The European Union has an updated Code of Practice to stop the spread of disinformation through deepfakes. The revised Code requires tech companies including Google, Meta and Twitter to take measures in countering deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms.

They have six months to implement their measures once they have signed up for the Code. If found non-compliant, these companies can face fines of as much as 6% of their annual global turnover.

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