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Kids' Cartoons Get a Free Pass From YouTube's Deepfake Disclosure Rules

Tuesday March 19, 2024. 11:40 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: YouTube has updated its rulebook for the era of deepfakes. Starting today, anyone uploading video to the platform must disclose certain uses of synthetic media, including generative AI, so viewers know what they're seeing isn't real. YouTube says it applies to 'realistic' altered media such as 'making it appear as if a real building caught fire' or swapping'the face of one individual with another's.' The new policy shows YouTube taking steps that could help curb the spread of AI-generated misinformation as the US presidential election approaches. It is also striking for what it permits: AI-generated animations aimed at kids are not subject to the new synthetic content disclosure rules.

YouTube's new policies exclude animated content altogether from the disclosure requirement. This means that the emerging scene of get-rich-quick, AI-generated content hustlers can keep churning out videos aimed at children without having to disclose their methods. Parents concerned about the quality of hastily made nursery-rhyme videos will be left to identify AI-generated cartoons by themselves. YouTube's new policy also says creators don't need to flag use of AI for 'minor' edits that are 'primarily aesthetic' such as beauty filters or cleaning up video and audio. Use of AI to 'generate or improve' a script or captions is also permitted without disclosure.

The exemption for animation in YouTube's new policy could mean that parents cannot easily filter such videos out of search results or keep YouTube's recommendation algorithm from autoplaying AI-generated cartoons after setting up their child to watch popular and thoroughly vetted channels like PBS Kids or Ms. Rachel. Some problematic AI-generated content aimed at kids does require flagging under the new rules. In 2023, the BBC investigated a wave of videos targeting older children that used AI tools to push pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, including climate change denialism. These videos imitated conventional live-action educational videos -- showing, for example, the real pyramids of Giza -- so unsuspecting viewers might mistake them for factually accurate educational content. (The pyramid videos then went on the suggest that the structures can generate electricity.) This new policy would crack down on that type of video. 'We require kids content creators to disclose content that is meaningfully altered or synthetically generated when it seems realistic,' says YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez. 'We don't require disclosure of content that is clearly unrealistic and isn't misleading the viewer into thinking it's real.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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