YouTube has issued new guidelines for AI-enhanced videos uploaded to its platform.
In a blog post, the digital video giant said the new approach will put guardrails around videos that appear realistic but rely on artificial intelligence tools. The company is also rolling out new labels to inform viewers when the video they’re seeing has been altered or synthetically created.
“This is especially important in cases where the content discusses sensitive topics, such as elections, ongoing conflicts and public health crises, or public officials,” VPs of Product Management Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley wrote in the blog post. “Creators who consistently choose not to disclose this information may be subject to content removal, suspension from the YouTube Partner Program, or other penalties. We’ll work with creators before this rolls out to make sure they understand these new requirements.”
AI’s rise has unsettled a large swath of society, including Hollywood, where actors and writers recently spent six months on strike in part over concerns about the potential damage the technology could do.
YouTube’s new stance comes about a month after the company unveiled a set of new capabilities, including a searchable cache of AI material called Dream Screen designed for the Shorts platform. Shorts, an answer to TikTok, has drawn more than 70 billion daily views from 2 billion-plus logged-in users. Asked at the time about the risk of propagating deepfakes or other misleading content, CEO Neal Mohan conceded that “there might be challenges around technology like this.” But he said all AI-enhanced videos would be subject to YouTube community guidelines. “The rules of the road that apply to video content on YouTube apply to everything that you saw today.”
The blog post also said users who take issue with any videos they encounter on YouTube can engage in a newly expanded privacy request process. That process lets anyone ask for the removal of AI-generated or other synthetic or altered content that simulates an identifiable individual, including their face or voice. That option extends to the realm of music video, where AI can enable fakes of an artist or rapper’s unique voice or style to potentially spread.