Tech World

China criminalises ‘fake news’ spread by AI, bots

China has issued new rules banning online video and audio providers from using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technologies to produce “fake news”.

The regulation published by China’s cyberspace authority said both providers and users of online video news and audio services were “not allowed” to use new technologies such as deep learning and virtual reality to create, distribute and broadcast “fake news”.

The rules come into effect on January 1, 2020.

Failure to follow them could be considered a criminal offence, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said, without offering details on punishments.

The regulations require videos and audio tracks produced using AI or virtual reality technologies to carry clear labels warning users.

They particularly stressed the dangers of technology that manipulates videos to appear genuine but which depict events or speech that never happened.

Deepfake technologies could “disrupt social order and violate people’s interests, creating political risks and bringing a negative impact to national security and social stability”, the cyberspace authority warned.

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