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Google Partners With ECI To Safeguard Its Platforms From Abuse And Help People Navigate AI-Generated Content

| Published on March 14, 2024

Ahead Of General Elections 2024, Google Partners With ECI To Safeguard Its Platforms From Abuse And Help People Navigate AI-Generated Content

Ahead of the General Elections 2024 in India, Google has partnered with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to enhance the accessibility of trustworthy voting information on Google Search and YouTube.

As per the company’s blogpost, supporting elections is a critical part of Google’s responsibility to its users and the democratic process and since millions of eligible voters in India are heading to the polls for the General Election in the coming months, the company is committed to supporting the election process by surfacing high-quality information to voters, safeguarding its platforms from abuse and helping people navigate AI-generated content.

“In the run-up to elections, people need useful and relevant information to help them navigate the electoral process. We make reliable information easily available with helpful product features, showing data from trusted organizations across our products. Our product features are designed to elevate authoritative information on a variety of election-related topics,” the company mentioned.

Delving further, into how it would be doing the same, Google mentioned that it is collaborating with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to enable people to easily discover critical voting information on Google Search- such as how to register and how to vote- in both English and Hindi.

Similarly, on YouTube, what will surface is a variety of election information panels, including on how to register to vote, how to vote and candidate information.

“For news and information related to the election, YouTube’s recommendation system prominently surfaces content from authoritative sources on the YouTube homepage, in search results, and the ‘Up Next’ panel. YouTube highlights high-quality content from authoritative news sources during key moments, through its Top News and Breaking News shelves, and news watch page. Moreover, we have information panels that indicate funding sources from publishers that receive public or government funding, and information panels giving topical context for topics prone to misinformation,” it elaborated.

Apart from this, the company in its blogpost also mentioned that it will be enforcing its policies around demonstrably false claims that could undermine democratic processes and use AI models to fight abuse at scale.

“With recent advances in our Large Language Models (LLMs), we’re building faster and more adaptable enforcement systems that enable us to remain nimble and take action even more quickly when new threats emerge,” it added.

With regards to the ongoing transparency on Election Ads, it mentioned that all advertisers who wish to run election ads on Google’s platforms will be required to undergo an identity verification process, provide a pre-certificate issued by the ECI or anyone authorized by the ECI for each election ad they want to run where necessary and have in-ad disclosures that clearly show who paid for the ad.

“We have long-standing ads policies that prohibit ads from promoting demonstrably false claims that could undermine trust or participation in elections. And to provide greater transparency, we compile all election ads in a searchable hub that provides insights on who the advertisers are, where they are located and how much is spent on the ads,” the company added.

In addition, Google also mentioned that it is also supporting Shakti, India Election Fact-Checking Collective, a consortium of news publishers and fact checkers in India, working together to aid the early detection of online misinformation, including deepfakes, and to create a common repository that news publishers can use to tackle the challenges of misinformation at scale.

As per the company, this project will also provide news organizations and fact-checkers essential training in advanced fact-checking methodologies, deepfake detection, and the latest Google tools like the Fact Check Explorer, to streamline verification processes.

Looking at how more and more people are now using AI to create content, Google in its blogpost also emphasised that it will help audiences in identifying AI-generated content through its slew of new tools and policies.

“Last year, we were the first tech company to launch new disclosure requirements for election ads containing synthetic content. As more advertisers leverage the power and opportunity of AI, we want to make sure we continue to provide people with greater transparency and the information they need to make informed decisions. Our ads policies already prohibit the use of manipulated media to mislead people, like deepfakes or doctored content,” it said.

To help provide viewers as much context as possible about the content they’re watching, the tech giant mentioned that it has already started displaying labels for content created with YouTube generative AI features, like Dream Screen and that YouTube will also begin to require creators to disclose when they’ve created realistic altered or synthetic content and display a label that indicates for people when they’re watching this content.

“Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses. We take our responsibility for providing high-quality information for these types of queries seriously, and are continuously working to improve our protections,” the company said.

It also added that via About this Image in Search, it has enabled people to assess the credibility and context of images found online and via its double-check feature in Gemini, the company is able to evaluate whether there is content across the web to substantiate its response.

“We’re committed to finding ways to ensure every image generated through our products has embedded watermarking with Google DeepMind’s SynthID,” the company blogpost mentioned.

Concludingly, Google also highlighted that it has recently joined the C2PA coalition and standard, a cross-industry effort to help provide more transparency and context for people on AI-generated content.

“The ‘Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections’ is a set of commitments to deploy technology countering harmful AI-generated content meant to deceive voters,” the company emphasised.

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