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TikTok to Start AI Content Labeling to Tackle Misinformation

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
14th May 2024
TikTok to Start AI Content Labeling to Tackle Misinformation
TikTok will label AI content (Getty)

On May 9, TikTok announced its strategy to tackle misinformation by implementing labels on content produced through artificial intelligence. These labels will be applied to images and videos uploaded from external sources onto the platform using a digital watermark called Content Credentials.

TikTok to Start Labeling AI-Generated Content

In a statement released Thursday, TikTok revealed its plan to combat misinformation by introducing labeling for content generated via artificial intelligence. The company further emphasized the immense creative opportunities AI offers but highlighted the potential for confusion or deception among viewers unaware of content being AI-generated. 

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A screenshot of TikTok's article.

“AI enables incredible creative opportunities, but can confuse or mislead viewers if they don’t know content was AI-generated,” the company said.

TikTok has been proactive in this regard by labeling content created with AI effects from its platform and mandating creators to label realistic AI-generated content for over a year.

TikTok's policy adjustment reflects broader efforts within the tech industry to enhance safeguards surrounding AI usage. 

TikTok Teams Up With the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity

TikTok has partnered with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, and it will use their Content Credentials technology. This technology facilitates the attachment of metadata to content, enabling TikTok to promptly identify and label AI-generated content. TikTok announced that it will begin deploying the technology on Thursday on images and videos and will be coming to audio-only content soon.

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A screenshot of the B&T Magazine’s article.

In the upcoming months, Content Credentials will be integrated into submissions on TikTok, persisting even after the content is downloaded. This initiative aims to enhance transparency by enabling users to discern when, where, and how content was created or modified. In addition, other platforms adopting Content Credentials will automatically label AI-generated material.

Claire Leibowicz, head of the AI and Media Integrity Program at the Partnership on AI, emphasized the significance of employing Content Credentials to directly identify and communicate synthetic media to audiences. In a prepared statement, Leibowicz noted that this approach represents a meaningful step towards AI transparency, surpassing conventional watermarking techniques. 

“Using Content Credentials as a way to identify and convey synthetic media to audiences directly is a meaningful step towards AI transparency, even more so than typical watermarking techniques,” Claire Leibowicz said.

She also stressed the importance of comprehending user reactions to these labels and expressed hope that TikTok would provide insights into public responses. Leibowicz underscored the necessity of understanding how individuals navigate an increasingly AI-augmented world.

TikTok said it is the first video-sharing platform to implement Content Credentials, a significant step towards enhancing transparency online. In conjunction with this initiative, TikTok has partnered with the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative, aimed at promoting the widespread adoption of these credentials across the industry.

In a blog post, Dana Rao, Adobe's executive vice president, general counsel, and chief trust officer, highlighted TikTok's pivotal role in fostering trust and transparency in the digital realm. With over 170 million users in the United States alone, TikTok's extensive platform and vibrant community of creators and users play a vital role in establishing a chain of trust necessary for enhancing transparency online.

TikTok has previously advocated for users to voluntarily label content produced or heavily modified by AI, while also mandating the labeling of all AI-generated content featuring realistic images, audio, and video.

Adam Presser, TikTok's Head of Operations & Trust and Safety, announced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that users and creators are thrilled regarding the creative potential of AI and its role in audience engagement. However, there is pressure on the platform's commitment to ensuring users can distinguish between factual content and fiction.

TikTok Challenge U.S. Law to Ban the Platform

TikTok's recent AI initiatives came two days after the platform said that it and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, had filed a lawsuit challenging a new American law. This law, if enacted, would mandate the sale of the video-sharing app to an approved buyer or risk its ban in the U.S. TikTok. The parent company contends that the law unfairly targets the platform and constitutes an unprecedented attack on free speech.

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A screenshot of the AP’s article.

The lawsuit marks the latest development in an ongoing legal saga regarding TikTok's future in the United States. The outcome of this legal battle could potentially reach the Supreme Court. If TikTok loses, the platform has warned that it will be compelled to shut down next year.

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