The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is set to unveil a robust strategy to tackle the rising threat of deepfakes and misinformation within the next 10 days. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made the announcement after a meeting with key stakeholders, including social media companies, AI firms, industry bodies, and researchers. The plan aims to provide a clear and actionable framework to address the challenges posed by deepfakes, which are digitally manipulated videos or images that often mislead viewers.
The comprehensive strategy will be built on four key pillars:
•Detection of Deepfakes and Misinformation: The government intends to deploy advanced technologies for the effective detection of deepfakes and misleading content. This includes leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to identify and flag content that has been manipulated.
•Prevention of Deepfake Impact: Once deepfakes are identified, the plan will involve measures to prevent their impact. This may include the removal or reduction of the vitality of detected deepfakes to minimize their reach and potential harm.
•Strengthening Reporting Mechanisms: The strategy will focus on enhancing reporting mechanisms, encouraging users to report instances of deepfakes and misinformation. This collaborative approach involving the public will contribute to a more dynamic and responsive system.
•Awareness Campaigns: Recognizing the importance of public awareness, the plan will incorporate initiatives to educate citizens about the existence of deepfakes, the potential risks they pose, and how to critically evaluate digital content.
One of the notable outcomes of the meeting was the consensus on the necessity of new regulations specifically tailored to address the challenges posed by deepfakes. Minister Vaishnaw emphasized that these regulations, regardless of their form, would undergo a thorough public consultation process to ensure inclusivity and transparency.
The need for such regulations has become increasingly apparent, especially in the wake of a fake video featuring Telugu actor Rashmika Mandanna that went viral earlier this year. The Indian government has been proactive in reminding social media platforms of their responsibility to combat misinformation, emphasizing the legal obligations mandated by Indian law.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concerns about the potential misuse of technology, particularly artificial intelligence, to create deepfakes. In a recent virtual summit of G20 nations, he highlighted the global need for collaboration in establishing regulations for AI, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the safety of AI for society.
The impending plan reflects a proactive and collaborative approach by the Indian government to stay ahead of the challenges posed by deepfakes, acknowledging the critical role technology plays in influencing public opinion and the potential risks associated with maliciously manipulated content.