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Deepfakes pose a big threat to democracy and social institutions: Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT Minister

In an interview with Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology conveyed his concerns about the potential risks that artificial intelligence, particularly deepfakes present to India’s democracy and society.

By  Storyboard18Nov 29, 2023 12:57 PM
Deepfakes pose a big threat to democracy and social institutions: Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT Minister
"The next meeting is scheduled for the first week of December. During that time, we will discuss the steps the platforms are willing to take on their own." - Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology. (image sourced via X)

The threat of deepfakes has recently become more apparent when deepfakes of celebrities such as Rashmika Mandanna, Katrina Kaif, Kajol and more went viral. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently expressed his concerns about the misuse of artificial intelligence to create these deepfakes and urged the media to spread awareness about the problem.

In an interview, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, spoke to Moneycontrol conveying his concerns about the potential risks that artificial intelligence, particularly deepfakes present to India’s democracy and society.

Vaishnaw stated that the Government is “open to every possible solution” because deepfakes pose as a big threat to democracy and social institutions. In a meeting held last week, chaired by Vaishnaw, a deadline was given to big tech firms to take down this content within days or risk losing their safe harbour provisions. Vaishnaw mentioned that all platforms were responding in a responsible manner.

“They are fully willing to cooperate, and we have had two rounds of meetings with them. The next meeting is scheduled for the first week of December. During that time, we will discuss the steps the platforms are willing to take on their own,” said Vaishnaw in an interview with Moneycontrol.

He added that the Govt will consider if a new set of rules and regulations is necessary or if adjustments to the current regulations can provide a useful solution. The best course of action will be decided along with the tech platforms.

Furthermore, speaking on AI regulations, Vaishnaw said that they were very successful in creating a balance between innovation and regulation in the privacy bill. However, in the case of AI, there are many threats. It is a much more complex issue when compared to privacy regulations because AI can be a major threat to humanity itself.

“Today, some of the deep fakes, and misinformation which is created using AI – all these things can actually create huge disturbances in society, our social institutions, and institutions like marriage.”

“Society must take some action, and that's where we'll have to work together, all of us, the platforms, the society, the regulators, the government – all of us will have to work together and find a solution. I think we should be able to find that solution,” he added.

First Published on Nov 29, 2023 12:18 PM
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