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YouTube will implement a significant policy update that requires creators to disclose when they upload videos with manipulated or synthetic content, especially those created using AI tools, according to a recent Bloomberg report. This move aims to enhance transparency and accountability on the platform, especially for videos depicting realistic but fabricated events.
Mandatory disclosure for sensitive topics
Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley, YouTube’s vice presidents of product management, emphasized the importance of this policy in a recent blog post. The focus is particularly on content discussing sensitive issues like elections, ongoing conflicts, public health crises, or public officials. Creators who fail to comply with this disclosure requirement may face consequences, including content removal or suspension from ad revenue.
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YouTube is planning a new warning label for such content, which creators must select to display in the video’s description. For content about sensitive topics, this label will be more prominent, appearing directly on the video player.
Balancing responsibility and opportunity
This policy is part of Google’s broader initiative to responsibly roll out AI technology. Kent Walker, Google’s president of legal affairs, highlighted the dual aspects of responsibility and opportunity presented by AI in a recent company blog post. Google’s “AI Opportunity Agenda” white paper offers policy recommendations for governments to navigate AI developments.
Google and YouTube have faced increasing pressure to curb the spread of misinformation, particularly concerning elections and global crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. Google has already taken steps to address concerns about AI-generated misinformation, requiring clear disclosures for AI-generated election ads across its platforms.
YouTube’s future steps and considerations
YouTube also plans to allow individuals to request the removal of AI-generated content that simulates identifiable persons. This option will extend to music partners for AI-generated music mimicking an artist’s voice. However, not all content will be automatically removed upon request. YouTube will evaluate these requests based on various factors, including the content’s nature and the identity of the requester.