YouTube Will Require Disclosure of AI-Generated Material in New Guidelines for Creators

“Identifiable” individuals will also be able to request the removal AI content created without their approval

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The YouTube and Netflix app logos are seen on a television (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

YouTube has laid out a new set of guidelines for AI-created content. Moving forward, creators who use this technology for “realistic” portrayals will have to disclose their use of AI and there will be an option to remove AI content featuring “identifiable” individuals.

“Generative AI has the potential to unlock creativity on YouTube and transform the experience for viewers and creators on our platform,” YouTube’s vice presidents of product management, Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley, wrote in the company’s latest blog post. “We also know that AI will introduce new risks and will require new approaches.”

The first big change has to do with disclosure. Over the coming months, the company will release updates to inform users whether or not the content they’re viewing is “synthetic.” The platform will also require creators to disclose “when they’ve created altered or synthetic content that is realistic, including using AI tools.”

This warning will be deployed in one of two ways. For videos using AI, there will be a new label added to the description panel. If an altered video is about a sensitive topic that warning will have a more prominent label.

If a label alone is not enough to limit the risk of harm further action will be taken, such as content removal.

O’Connor and Moxley went on to note this change is especially important when it comes to “sensitive topics” such as elections or ongoing conflicts. Creators who fail to disclose that their realistic-looking videos were made using AI may face “content removal, suspension from the YouTube Partner Program or other penalties.” YouTube also noted that it will work with creators beforehand to ensure these new requirements are understood.

The other major change has to do with digitally altering someone’s face or voice without the subject’s approval. In the coming months it will be possible to request the removal of AI-generated content “that simulates an identifiable individual, including their face or voice.” These requests will go through the platform’s privacy request process.

YouTube noted that “not all content will be removed” from the platform. Factors such as whether the video in question is parody or satire, whether the person making the request can be “uniquely identified” or whether the content features a public official of a well-known person will all be considered.

YouTube’s music partners will also be allowed to request the removal of AI content that mirrors a performer’s singing or rapping voice.

Additionally, the platform announced it will use AI technology in its content moderation moving forward.

“We’re thinking carefully about how we can build upon years of investment into the teams and technology capable of moderating content at our scale. This includes significant, ongoing work to develop guardrails that will prevent our AI tools from generating the type of content that doesn’t belong on YouTube,” the blog reads.

This comes on the heels of YouTube’s most recent AI push. In September, the video platform announced several new AI-powered tools for creators during its annual Made on YouTube event. These include photo and video backgrounds, video topic suggestions and music search, all of which are powered by artificial intelligence.


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