In an effort to bring greater transparency to its platform, TikTok announced new tools that allow creators to label content generated or heavily edited using artificial intelligence (AI). The update comes amid an industry-wide push for clear identification of AI-created content, aimed at preventing disinformation and helping users better understand what they're viewing.
According to TikTok, the need for AI labeling stems from the platform's desire to help users distinguish between real and synthetically generated content. TikTok had already mandated labeling for synthetic media like deepfakes but felt a broader approach was needed to cover the spectrum of AI-altered content.
The new labeling tool will be available during the video upload process, allowing creators to flag their content as AI-generated. Once labeled, a message will appear below the username on the video, informing viewers that the content was created or edited using AI.
Interestingly, TikTok won't penalize creators who don't label their AI content, as long as it doesn't fall under existing synthetic media policies. However, TikTok is also developing automatic detection and labeling for AI-generated content, beginning with tests of an "AI-generated" label.
While TikTok did not divulge the specifics of its AI detection technology, citing security reasons, it did mention that it will be testing various detection models.
In addition to content labels, TikTok will rename its effects that use AI, clearly marking them with "AI" in their names. This change helps users easily recognize which effects are AI-based.
TikTok consulted its Safety Advisory Councils and industry experts, including MIT’s Dr. David G. Rand, in developing the new labels. The term "AI-generated" was chosen as it is widely understood across different demographic groups.
TikTok will roll out educational videos and media literacy resources in the coming weeks to help users understand AI better. This is part of TikTok's commitment to the Partnership on AI’s Responsible Practices for Synthetic Media and its ongoing efforts to involve young people in the discussion about AI.
The AI labeling tools are rolling out as of today, although it may take some time for all users to see the changes.
With these updates, TikTok joins the likes of OpenAI, Google, and Instagram in implementing measures for better AI transparency. The company aims to set a standard for responsible innovation and user understanding in the realm of AI-generated content.