Douyin, the Chinese version TikTok will require publishers to clearly mark content generated by artificial intelligence (AI) to help users distinguish between virtual and real items, with the company taking a proactive step to address potential concerns related to the authenticity and trustworthiness of the content on the widely-used platform.
Publishers should clearly label AI-generated content to assist users in distinguishing between virtual and real content, particularly in confusing scenarios; virtual individuals must be registered on the platform, and users of virtual person technology must be authenticated using their real names, Douyin outlined in an industry initiative regarding AI-generated content on early Tuesday.
Use of generative AI technology to create and distribute content that goes against scientific common sense, fabricates or spreads rumors is strictly prohibited, Douyin said.
Publishers are responsible for the consequences of AI-generated content, regardless of how it is generated, the company said, warning of "strict penalties" upon discovery of content in violation of the above rules.
The platform will also provide a unified AI-generated content identification capability to assist creators in labeling their content.
"Douyin believes that AI technology is both an opportunity and a challenge for the entire internet industry. As such, Douyin advocates for all providers of generative AI technology to clearly label generated content for public judgment. The use of a unified generative AI content data standard or metadata standard should also be adopted to facilitate recognition by other content platforms," the company said.
The initiative and rules come as the double-edged technology is influencing more industries creating controversies worldwide.
It's a reasonable and timely initiative, and major platforms will follow up, Pan Helin, joint director of the Research Center for Digital Economics and Financial Innovation affiliated with Zhejiang University's International Business School, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
But it remains to be seen whether it can be implemented, for instance how to punish the violators, Pan said.
Apart from Douyin, the Global Times observed that the popular Chinese Instagram-like fashion and lifestyle sharing platform Xiaohongshu, has already started to label images and posters suspected of being created by AI, and advised users to distinguish between what is real and what is computer generated.
Authorities in China have also stepped up oversight of related technology. China's cyberspace authority issued a content regulation draft for AI on April 11, voicing clear support for innovation, promotion and application in AI algorithms and frameworks. Meanwhile, it called for efforts to ensure fair competition as domestic industry players have been intensively launching related services amid a global frenzy surrounding ChatGPT .
Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have all launched plans to develop a ChatGPT-like chatbot, and are endeavoring to utilize AI technologies in their business development and product innovation to gain a stance in the arena without being left behind.