YouTube to require creators to label AI content

Leading video network YouTube will now start requiring content creators to flag their videos when they use anything made by AI. The new policy supposedly seeks to help combat misinformation. However, the new guidelines themselves don’t detail how the site plans to actually detect and enforce this.

In a blog post dated November 14, YouTube’s Product Management Vice Presidents, Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley detailed the new guidelines. They state any video posted on YouTube that contains AI-generated content will now require disclosure and content labels in the video description.

The blog post also gave some possible examples. These include deepfakes showing individuals “saying or doing something they didn’t actually do” as well as any video that “realistically depicts an event that never happened.”

According to Google, the new policy is meant to help combat misinformation, especially in regards to real-world issues and crises. In addition, YouTube stated that some AI-generated content may be removed if the included disclaimers are deemed to “not be enough to mitigate the risk of harm.”

At the same time, YouTube is also giving exceptions in cases where AI-generated voices are used as part of an analysis, such as the discussion of AI covers of songs or comparisons with real human voices. In such cases, the video may not be taken down. In addition, using AI-generated content for parody and satire is also fair game. (Read: Japan rules AI art may be subject to copyright infringement claims)

Of course, the big question here is whether YouTube actually has any means of enforcing the new AI guidelines beyond the usual threat of penalties, such as the removal of the offending content and possible suspension of the creator from the YouTube Partner Program.

For now, enforcement seems to be community-driven — YouTube is currently rolling out community guidelines for those who are affected by AI-generated content to request their removal.

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