Big Tech’s voluntary approach to deepfakes isn’t sufficient: U.S. cyber head


Commitments from Big Tech firms to determine and label pretend synthetic intelligence-generated photographs on their platforms received’t be sufficient to maintain the tech from being utilized by different international locations to try to affect the U.S. election, mentioned the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

AI received’t utterly change the long-running menace of weaponized propaganda, however it should “enflame” it, CISA Director Jen Easterly mentioned at The Washington Post’s Futurist Summit on Thursday. Tech firms are performing some work to try to label and determine deepfakes on their platforms, however extra wants to be completed, she mentioned.

“There is no real teeth to these voluntary agreements,” Easterly mentioned. “There needs to be a set of rules in place, ultimately legislation.”

Deepfakes and AI-generated photographs have been round for a number of years, however because the know-how improves and the instruments to make them turns into broadly obtainable, they’ve turn out to be more and more widespread on social media platforms. An AI-generated picture of a sprawling refugee camp with the phrases “All Eyes on Rafah” went viral in late May as a way for people to show their support for Palestinians in Gaza. As major elections take place across the globe, some politicians have tried to use fake images to make their opponents look bad.

In February, tech companies, including Google, Meta, OpenAI and TikTok, said they would work to identify and label deepfakes on their social media platforms. But their agreement was voluntary, and did not include an outright ban on deceptive political AI content. The agreement came months after the tech companies also signed a pledge organized by the White House that they would label AI images.

Congressional and state-level politicians are debating numerous bills to try and regulate AI in the United States, but so far the initiatives haven’t made it into law. The E.U. parliament passed an AI Act last year, but it won’t fully go into force for another two years.

The spread of false claims about the 2020 election are leading to threats of violence against election officials right now, Easterly said. Some poll workers have quit over the worsening environment, she said. “Those who remain often operate, frankly, in difficult conditions.”


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Easterly additionally mentioned that Chinese hackers are busy hacking into vital infrastructure within the United States, akin to water therapy services and pipeline management facilities, so as to “preposition” themselves to strike if there was ever a battle between the 2 international locations.

“They are creating enormous risk to our critical infrastructure,” Easterly mentioned. “That is happening right now.”

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