YouTube is taking a significant step to ensure transparency and authenticity on its platform. The Google-owned video-sharing platform announced a new policy that will require creators to disclose when their content includes AI-generated or synthetic material that could potentially mislead viewers.
Striving for Transparency in the Age of AI
This policy update, announced on Tuesday, is designed to help users distinguish between genuine and AI-created content. The requirement for disclosures applies specifically to videos containing "manipulated or synthetic content that is realistic," including those created using AI tools.
This move is particularly relevant given the recent surge in sophisticated generative AI tools that enable the creation of realistic text, images, videos, and audio. YouTube's Vice Presidents of Product Management, Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley, emphasized in a blog post the importance of this policy, especially for content that discusses sensitive topics.
The focus is on preventing confusion and misinformation around critical issues such as elections, ongoing conflicts, public health crises, or statements by public officials. Content that realistically depicts events that never happened or shows individuals saying or doing things they didn’t will now require clear labeling.
A Broader Trend in Social Media
YouTube is not alone in its effort to make AI-generated content more transparent. Earlier this year, TikTok introduced a label for AI-generated content and mandated disclosures for material depicting “realistic scenes” created or edited with AI.
Similarly, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently announced that political advertisers must disclose any use of AI in their ads. The introduction of YouTube’s new disclosure policy coincides with the platform's recent deployment of AI-powered tools aimed at assisting creators in producing videos and expanding their audience reach.
For example, YouTube has introduced features allowing creators to add AI-generated video or image backgrounds to vertical videos and tools to help draft video outlines. As AI continues to blend more seamlessly into content creation, these steps by major platforms like YouTube are crucial in maintaining the integrity of online information and safeguarding against the potential misuse of AI in spreading misinformation.