AI and Deepfakes: Challenges and Regulatory Responses in India

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
AI and Deepfakes: Challenges and Regulatory Responses in India

In the latest era of artificial intelligence (AI), generative AI and deepfakes are becoming increasingly prevalent. The innovations are posing significant challenges and particularly the concern of misuse is high. The issue has come to the forefront in India with some recent incidents which highlighted urgent need for regulatory measures.

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Actor Rashmika Mandanna is one of the most striking examples of the dangers posed by deepfakes. A manipulated video featured likeness of her and it sparked widespread shock as well as fear. The video showcased that technology can be used easily to create convincing and false representations. It highlighted vulnerability of individuals in such an era of technological misuse. The original video featured British Indian influencer Zara Patel. Deepfake technology altered it and led to Mandanna publicly expressing her distress and highlights the broader implications for society.

Deepfakes involve altering of media digitally by using AI to create hyper-realistic falsifications. It results with far-reaching consequences. Such altered videos can damage reputations, fabricate evidence and undermine trust in democratic institutions. The deepfakes were used to spread misinformation and create confusion during the recent election periods.

India currently lacks specific laws that can address deepfakes and AI-related crimes. However, there are provisions under existing legislations like the Information Technology Act, 2000. Sections 66E, 66D and 67 of the IT Act address privacy violations, malicious intent and obscene content respectively. Experts argue that the existing laws are not adequately designed and tackle the challenges posed by such emerging technologies.

Indian government has responded to the growing deepfake threat by having meetings with social media platforms and AI companies. Draft regulations have been discussed in the meetings. The proposed rules aim to hold creators and platforms accountable. Deepfakes should be labeled and watermarked to enhance transparency.

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