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China’s deepfake laws come into effect today

China will begin enforcing its strict new rules around the creation of deepfakes from today.

Deepfakes are increasingly being used for manipulation and humiliation. We’ve seen deepfakes of figures like disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to commit fraud, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to spread disinformation, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make her appear drunk.

Last month, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced rules to clampdown on deepfakes.

“In recent years, in-depth synthetic technology has developed rapidly. While serving user needs and improving user experiences, it has also been used by some criminals to produce, copy, publish, and disseminate illegal and bad information, defame, detract from the reputation and honour of others, and counterfeit others,” explains the CAC.

Providers of services for creating synthetic content will be obligated to ensure their AIs aren’t misused for illegal and/or harmful purposes. Furthermore, any content that was created using an AI must be clearly labelled with a watermark.