PM Modi warns against deepfakes; calls on media to educate people on misinformation

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PM Modi warns against deepfakes; calls on media to educate people on misinformation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday termed the misuse of artificial intelligence for creating deepfakes as problematic, and as one of the looming issues going ahead asking media to educate people about this phenomenon. He said this during his address to media persons at a Diwali Milan organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party at its national headquarters in New Delhi on Friday.

He said that many of the deepfakes generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence appeared very real and that the consequent disinformation could lead to much harm. “A new crisis is emerging due to deepfakes produced through artificial intelligence. There is a very big section of society which does not have a parallel verification system,” he said. He added that just that as products like cigarettes come with health warnings, deepfakes should also carry disclosures.

The media, he said, should be on its guard against this potential danger and educate others of the same. On a lighter note, the Prime Minister also said that he had himself been inserted into a deepfake video of a Garba dance event, during the Navratri season. “Many friends forwarded it to me as well,” he said with a laugh adding that while he did play Garba when he was in school he had not done so since.

Prime Minister Modi’s remarks come in the backdrop of a viral deepfake video of actress Rashmika Mandanna following which an advisory had also been issued by the Information Technology Ministry. The IT Ministry warned platforms to take such content down within 36 hours, a requirement outlined in the IT Rules, 2021, and urged that “due diligence be exercised and reasonable efforts made to identify misinformation and deepfakes”.

In further remarks, PM Modi said that the “vocal for local” had received support from the people, which was a welcome development.

Pointing to the economy and other sectors, he added that India’s achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic created confidence among the people that the country “is not going to stop now”.

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