Sunday, June 23, 2024
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TikTok’s announcement on Thursday outlined its adoption of “Content Credentials,” a digital watermark technology developed to indicate how images and videos were created and edited. Spearheaded by Adobe, this technology is designed to provide transparency regarding the origin of AI-generated content uploaded to the platform. While Adobe initiated the development, it’s now open for other companies to utilize, and entities like OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, have already integrated it into their systems.

The move comes amidst growing concerns among researchers that AI-generated content could be exploited for misinformation campaigns, especially in the context of upcoming U.S. elections. TikTok, along with a coalition of 20 tech companies, had previously committed to combatting such misuse. Both YouTube (owned by Google’s Alphabet) and Meta Platforms (owner of Instagram and Facebook) have also signaled their intentions to implement Content Credentials.

For the technology to function effectively, both the AI tool’s creator and the content distribution platform must agree to adopt the industry standard. For instance, if someone generates an image using OpenAI’s Dall-E tool, OpenAI will attach a watermark to the resulting image. If this marked image is then uploaded to TikTok, the platform will automatically label it as AI-generated.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, faces regulatory challenges in the United States, including recent legislation requiring ByteDance to divest from TikTok or risk a ban. TikTok and ByteDance have contested this law, arguing that it violates the First Amendment. Despite these legal battles, TikTok is taking proactive steps to enhance transparency and accountability on its platform, extending its AI-generated content labeling policies to content created outside of the service. Adam Presser, head of operations and trust and safety at TikTok, emphasized that the platform’s policies prohibit the dissemination of unlabeled realistic AI-generated content, indicating a commitment to upholding community guidelines.

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