YouTube announces strict new requirements for AI-generated content

YouTube users who violate new rules on AI-generated content risk having their work removed from the platform as updated requirements were announced on Tuesday.

In a blog post, the video platform revealed that new rules will take effect in the coming months that will impact users’ content when artificial intelligence is used to create videos and certain labeling will also be required.

“All content uploaded to YouTube is subject to our Community Guidelines—regardless of how it’s generated—but we also know that AI will introduce new risks and will require new approaches,” the Google-owned platform announced Tuesday, detailing “what YouTube will roll out over the coming months and into the new year.”

“We have long-standing policies that prohibit technically manipulated content that misleads viewers and may pose a serious risk of egregious harm. However, AI’s powerful new forms of storytelling can also be used to generate content that has the potential to mislead viewers—particularly if they’re unaware that the video has been altered or is synthetically created,” the blog post continued, explaining how viewers will be informed of “synthetic” content.

“Specifically, we’ll require creators to disclose when they’ve created altered or synthetic content that is realistic, including using AI tools,” the announcement read, pointing to “new options” in how videos will be marked “realistic altered or synthetic material.”

In an example of how this could happen such as a video showing an event that did not actually happen or a person saying something they actually didn’t, YouTube added, “This is especially important in cases where the content discusses sensitive topics, such as elections, ongoing conflicts and public health crises, or public officials.”

“Creators who consistently choose not to disclose this information may be subject to content removal, suspension from the YouTube Partner Program, or other penalties,” the company warned.

Next, the blog post explained the new label system.

“A new label will be added to the description panel indicating that some of the content was altered or synthetic. And for certain types of content about sensitive topics, we’ll apply a more prominent label to the video player,” YouTube clarified.

Without specifics about who makes the determinations or how, the company further noted that “some areas where a label alone may not be enough to mitigate the risk of harm” and so, the company will simply remove the content entirely.

“For example, a synthetically created video that shows realistic violence may still be removed if its goal is to shock or disgust viewers,” YouTube announced.

The video platform also said that its privacy request process will allow people to request AI-generated content be removed if it “simulates an identifiable individual” using their voice or face “without their permission or to misrepresent their points of view.”

“Not all content will be removed from YouTube, and we’ll consider a variety of factors when evaluating these requests,” YouTube clarified. “This could include whether the content is parody or satire, whether the person making the request can be uniquely identified, or whether it features a public official or well-known individual, in which case there may be a higher bar.”

The company concluded by explaining how it will be “building responsibility” into tools and features amid the use of artificial intelligence.

“We’re thinking carefully about how we can build upon years of investment into the teams and technology capable of moderating content at our scale. This includes significant, ongoing work to develop guardrails that will prevent our AI tools from generating the type of content that doesn’t belong on YouTube,” the post read.

The platform vowed to use “dedicated teams” in the company as well as “user feedback” to help combat the “bad actors [who] will inevitably try to circumvent these guardrails.”


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