China Launches Campaign Against AI-Generated Misinformation
China’s Cyberspace Administration (CAC) has initiated a campaign to combat the spread of fake news generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The crackdown primarily targets news providers, including short video platforms and popular search lists.
The CAC specifically highlighted manipulative practices, such as the use of AI virtual anchors, forged studio scenes, fake news accounts imitating legitimate ones, and the manipulation of news to create misleading storylines. These practices are commonly employed to generate clickbait content.
According to the CAC, they have already taken action against 107,000 counterfeit news accounts and fake anchors, while also removing 835,000 pieces of false information. The internet regulator is urging citizens to report encounters with fake news accounts online.
In accordance with China’s AI media law, which aims to curb the dissemination of AI-generated fake news, the police recently detained an individual in Gansu province for creating fake news using ChatGPT.
The individual utilized ChatGPT to fabricate a news article about a train crash, which rapidly gained traction on social media platforms. The police took action against the individual for spreading false information with the intention of increasing website traffic.
While ChatGPT is not directly available in China, users can access it using a supported foreign phone number and a virtual private network (VPN). However, access to foreign phone numbers and VPNs is restricted within China.
The AI-generated media law, effective since January 10, 2023, not only targets individuals like the one detained in Gansu but also holds “deep synthesis service providers” accountable for preventing the misuse of AI algorithms for illegal activities, including fraud, scams, and the dissemination of fake information.
The implementation of this law poses challenges for companies like Tencent, the developer of WeChat, as they need to ensure their AI algorithms are not misused.
Tencent recently introduced a “Deepfakes-as-a-Service” product, allowing users to create high-definition digital humans for a fee, raising concerns about the potential misuse of such technology.
The Chinese government’s efforts to combat fake news and regulate online communication demonstrate their commitment to maintaining a secure and trustworthy digital environment, although concerns about censorship and restrictions on freedom of expression have been raised by critics.