With deepfakes, voice swaps, and other AI-generated wizardry taking social media by storm, tech companies are having to figure out ways to separate real content from artificially created content. In TikTok’s case, the solution may be straightforward disclosures.
According to The Information, TikTok is working on a tool that will allow content creators to disclose whether their uploads utilized generative artificial intelligence — in other words, whether AI made content for them.
The new addition could be similar to a sponsorship disclosure, being an unobtrusive, simple disclaimer that lets viewers know what the nature of the content is. What remains unclear is if TikTok will mandate such disclosures for AI-born and modified content. In the event disclaimers are deemed mandatory, it’s unclear how the app will enforce them.
In response to a request for comment about the new tool, a TikTok spokesperson shared the following message with TheWrap: “We don’t have anything to announce at this time. At TikTok we believe that trust forms the foundation of our community — and we are always working to advance transparency and help viewers better understand the content they see.”
This rumored development isn’t coming of its own volition; TikTok and similar apps are under substantial pressure to combat AI content’s encroaching presence on their services. A recent example of this new, potentially dangerous tool sweeping the social media arena is the “Fake Drake” situation, which saw Drake sing a tune he didn’t actually sing — a fact not everyone would’ve known given how convincing the AI-generated video was. Ardent fans of the artist may have been able to make the distinction based on background knowledge, but casual listeners currently don’t have a foolproof way to discern real from artificial tunes.
Tools like Midjourney and Podcastle, which allow for AI-spawned image and sound generation, comprise a new frontier for big tech to tame, especially when it comes to the legality of the tools’ creations. Just look at the debates surrounding the idea of AI actors modeled on real, human talent. How much reality will be left in entertainment going forward remains to be seen.