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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Take a step to regulate deep fakes


Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Science and technology, Artificial intelligence(AI), deep flakes, Generative AI, Big Data, GANs, ChatGPT1 tool, DALL.E2 etc
  • Mains GS Paper III and IV: Significance of technology for India, AI, indigenisation of technology and development of new technology.


  • William Golding’s(novel, Lord of the Flies): He says, “We’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything. So, we’ve got to do the right things.”
    • It demonstrates how self-regulation or no regulation can be disastrous at times.
  • It is relevant in the context of Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulations in India.




Artificial intelligence(AI):

  • It is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.
  • It describes the action of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence.
  • It includes technologies like machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self algorithms etc.
  • g: Facebook’s facial recognition software which identifies faces in the photos we post, the voice recognition software that translates commands we give to Alexa, etc are some of the examples of AI already around us.


Deep Fakes:

  • It is a method for manipulating videos, images, audios utilizing powerful computers and deep learning.
  • It is used to generate fake news and commit financial fraud among other wrong doings.
  • It overlays a digital composite over an already-existing video, picture, or audio; cybercriminals use Artificial Intelligence technology.


Issues with deep fakes:

  • Deep fake videos can be used to spread misinformation and propaganda.
  • They compromise the public’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.
  • There has been a history of using deepfakes to depict someone in a compromising and embarrassing situation.
    • For instance, there is no dearth of deep fake pornographic material of celebrities.
  • Deep fake photos and videos do not only amount to an invasion of privacy of the people reportedly in those videos, but also to harassment.
  • Deep Fakes have been used for financial fraud:
    • Example: scammers used AI-powered software to trick the CEO of a U.K. energy company over the phone into believing he was speaking with the head of the German parent company.

How deep fakes can be used as weapons against countries?

  • Deepfakes can be used to influence elections.
  • Deep fakes can also be used to carry out espionage activities.
  • Doctored videos can be used to blackmail government and defense officials into divulging state secrets.
  • The Ukrainian President revealed that a video posted on social media in which he appeared to be instructing Ukrainian soldiers to surrender to Russian forces was actually a deep fake.
  • India: Deep fakes could be used to produce inflammatory material, such as videos purporting to show the armed forces or the police committing ‘crimes’ in areas with conflict.
  • Deep Fakes could be used to radicalize populations, recruit terrorists, or incite violence.


Laws and regulations globally:

  • Taiwan’s cabinet approved amendments to election laws to punish the sharing of deep fake videos or images.
  • China: It has introduced regulations prohibiting the use of deep fakes deemed harmful to national security or the economy.
    • These rules apply to content creators who alter facial and voice data.


Laws in India:

  • Section 500 of the IPC provides punishment for defamation.
  • Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act punish sexually explicit material in explicit form.
  • The Representation of the People Act, 1951: prohibits the creation or distribution of false or misleading information about candidates or political parties during an election period.
  • The Election Commission of India registered political parties and candidates to get pre-approval for all political advertisements on electronic media, including TV and social media sites, to help ensure their accuracy and fairness.


Ethical Issues with AI:


Way Forward

  • Deepfakes could enable individuals to deny the authenticity of genuine content, particularly if it shows them engaging in inappropriate or criminal behavior, by claiming that it is a deep fake.
  • ‘Liar’s Dividend ‘(professors Danielle Keats Citron and Robert Chesney):This refers to the idea that individuals can exploit the increasing awareness and prevalence of deepfake technology to their advantage by denying the authenticity of certain content.
  • There is often a lag between new technologies and the enactment of laws to address the issues and challenges they create.
  • The legal framework related to AI in India is insufficient to adequately address the various issues that have arisen due to AI algorithms.
  • The Union government should introduce separate legislation regulating the nefarious use of deepfakes and the broader subject of AI.
    • Legislation should not hamper innovation in AI
  • The proposed Digital India Bill can also address this issue.
    • We can’t always rely on the policy of self-regulation.
  • We must add rigor and responsibility to developing AI technology, enforce ethical guidelines, conduct regular audits for fairness, identify and address biases, and protect privacy and security.



Q. What are the different elements of cyber security ? Keeping in view the challenges in cyber security, examine the extent to which India has successfully developed a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)


Which one of the following is the context in which the term “qubit” is mentioned?(UPSC 2022)

(a) Cloud Services

(b) Quantum Computing

(c) Visible Light Communication Technologies

(d) Wireless Communication Technologies

Ans: (b)