Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar on Tuesday stressed the government’s unwavering commitment to protect citizens from misinformation, especially those emanating from artificial intelligence (AI) and deepfakes. During an interview with ANI, the Minister of State for Information Technology outlined the government’s ongoing efforts to set up robust frameworks. Chandrashekhar said that, if deemed necessary, new legislation would be introduced to protect Indians from the potential threats posed by deepfakes and misinformation.
He stressed, “We will continue to put in place a framework, including but not limited to new laws as needed, to ensure that deepfakes or misinformation do not pose a threat on a large scale.” , Do not become a challenge to the security and trust of 1.2 billion Indians who will be on the Indian Internet.”
Chandrashekhar acknowledged the positive aspects of AI as a tool for empowerment, development and innovation. However, he cautioned against malicious use of AI and misinformation on the Internet, emphasizing their potential to incite harm, chaos, disorder, and violence. The Minister highlighted the significant role of deepfakes powered by AI as a clear and present threat to the security and trust of Indian internet users. He mentioned the government’s proactive steps, including the formulation of IT rules in April 2023, to address these challenges.
Also read: PM Modi expresses deep concern against AI deepfakes, says media should educate people
These statements come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent acknowledgment of significant threats posed by emerging technologies like AI and deepfakes. Speaking at the Diwali Milan event at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on November 17, PM Modi urged caution about the growing threat of AI-generated ‘deepfakes’. He shared a personal experience of encountering a fake video showing him participating in Garba, emphasizing the potential for such misinformation to create turmoil and unrest in society.
PM Modi stressed the need to educate the public about the negative aspects of Artificial Intelligence and the importance of verification in a society where a large section lacks alternative means for verification.
The concerns raised by the government and the Prime Minister are in line with recent incidents, such as the deepfake video involving actor Rashmika Mandanna. A video showing a woman resembling Mandana entering an elevator in a black swimsuit went viral, prompting social media users to confirm its status as a deepfake. Mandanna expressed her anguish calling the incident “extremely scary” and highlighted the possibility of harm to individuals due to misuse of technology on social media platforms.