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Dealing with Deepfakes

  • 07 Jun 2023
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Deepfake technology, deep synthesis technology, Artificial Intelligence technology, blockchain technology

For Mains: Impact of Deepfake Technology, India's stand on dealing with deepfakes, Ethical concerns associated with deepfakes

Why in News?

Recently, various news sources have focused on the growing concern over deepfakes, which are fabricated media created using deep learning technology.

  • While deepfakes have the potential to distort reality and manipulate public perception, they also hold promise in various fields. The challenge lies in responsibly wielding this technology and addressing its impact on society.

What is Deepfake Technolgy?

  • About:
    • Deepfake technology is a method for manipulating videos, images, and audio utilizing powerful computers and deep learning. Deep learning is a part of Deep synthesis.
      • 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.
    • It is used to generate fake news and commit financial fraud among other wrongdoings.
    • It overlays a digital composite over an already-existing video, picture, or audio; cybercriminals use Artificial Intelligence technology.
    • Deepfakes surpass traditional photo editing techniques by leveraging machine learning algorithms.
    • Deepfakes have been used to create manipulated content, such as fake videos of political figures and false disaster images.
  • Redeeming Applications of Deep Learning:
    • Deep learning technology has enabled positive advancements, such as restoring lost voices and recreating historical figures.
    • The ALS Association's voice cloning initiative and recreations of artists and celebrities showcase the potential benefits of deep learning.
    • Deep learning techniques have been applied in comedy, cinema, music, and gaming to enhance artistic expression.
  • Unsettling Consequences and Ethical Concerns:
    • Deepfakes have been employed for malicious purposes, including revenge porn and hacking facial recognition systems.
    • They undermine trust in the media and blur the lines between fact and fiction.
    • Misinformation propagated by deepfakes can be mistaken as true, leading to potential social unrest.

What is India’s Stand on Dealing with Deepfakes?

  • India does not have specific laws or regulations that ban or regulate the use of deepfake technology.
  • Existing laws such as Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act (2000) have provisions that may be applied to certain aspects of deepfakes, such as defamation and publishing explicit material.
  • Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (1860) provides punishment for defamation.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill (2022), if passed, could provide some protection against the misuse of personal data, but it does not explicitly address deepfakes.
  • India needs to develop a comprehensive legal framework specifically targeting deepfakes, considering the potential implications for privacy, social stability, national security, and democracy.

What are Other Countries doing to Combat Deepfakes?

  • European Union:
    • In 2022, the European Union has updated Code of Practice on Disinformation that was introduced in 2018 to stop the spread of disinformation through deepfakes.
  • United States:
    • The U.S. introduced the bipartisan Deepfake Task Force Act to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to counter deepfake technology.
  • China:
    • China introduces comprehensive regulation on deep synthesis, effective from January 2023. Aimed at curbing disinformation, the regulation requires clear labeling and traceability of deep synthesis content. Consent from individuals and adherence to laws and public morals are mandated. Service providers must establish review mechanisms and cooperate with authorities.

Way Forward

  • AI-Powered Social Media Fact-Checking: Engage social media platforms to invest in AI-powered algorithms and tools that can automatically detect, and flag potentially manipulated or deepfake content.
    • Collaborate with fact-checking organizations and utilize the power of public participation to quickly address and act against the spreading of false information through deepfakes.
  • Blockchain-based Deepfake Verification: Use blockchain technology to create an unchangeable record of who created a piece of digital media and ensure transparency in verifying its authenticity.
    • This decentralized approach allows individuals to trace the origin and modification history of media, discouraging the creation and dissemination of malicious deepfakes.
  • Deepfake Impact Mitigation Policy: Set up a fund to help individuals and organizations affected by deepfakes.
  • Deepfake Accountability Act (DAA): DAA can be introduced aimed at addressing the challenges posed by deepfakes and ensuring accountability in their creation and distribution and controlling.
  • Punishments and Public Awareness Campaigns: Laws should punish bad-faith actors and protect individuals from the manipulation of their digital representations.
    • Public awareness and literacy in scientific and digital domains are crucial to combat the spread of deepfakes.

Source: TH

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