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Full disclosure of altered images and videos could prevent spread of misinformation and online fraud, says expert

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia fully supports the call for regulatory measures governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in content creation and distribution.

Its chairman Rafiq Razali was commenting on the call on Tuesday by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) member Derek John Fernandez on the urgent need for such measures to curb criminal misuse of the technology.

Fernandez highlighted AI technologies such as deepfakes can significantly threaten public peace and national security.

He also emphasised the need for a regulatory framework that mandates disclosure for AI-generated images or videos to prevent the spread of misinformation and protect individuals from becoming victims of online fraud.

Rafiq said Fernandez’s recommendations are in line with the mission of the Content Forum, which advocates self-regulation of content as outlined in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code 2022.

“The Code highlights the importance of transparency and already requires disclosure when social media influencers are used for marketing purposes. Extending the Code to include AI-generated content will further strengthen consumer trust and protect the community from misleading information.”

Rafiq emphasised “collective responsibility” to ensure the safe use of AI, which he said has immense potential to revolutionise the content industry, driving unprecedented levels of creativity and efficiency.

“Yet, the potential of AI must be carefully managed. Lawmakers, AI service providers, regulators and content creators must collaborate to allocate sufficient resources and ensure the technologies are used responsibly.”

He said prioritising user safety and maintaining the integrity of digital content are crucial to fostering a trustworthy content environment.

Pointing to recent incidents of deepfake videos featuring well-known public figures circulated online, Rafiq said they caused widespread confusion within the community.

“Cases of AI-generated content have also been used to scam people. These incidents indicate how easily AI can be misused to manipulate information and deceive the public.

“By implementing regulations such as mandating the disclosure of AI-generated content, it is possible to mitigate these risks and safeguard the community from digital deception.”

Content Forum CEO Mediha Mahmood said when the internet was first introduced, nobody could anticipate the full range of challenges such as cyberbullying and misinformation that would arise.

“These issues continue to evolve and Malaysia remains committed to addressing them through effective legislation and regulation. As we stand on the brink of widespread AI adoption, we must learn from past experiences. So, pre-empting potential harm through swift and effective regulation is not just prudent but essential.”

She said the Content Forum is confident that by taking proactive measures, the country could fully harness the transformative benefits of AI while maintaining a safe and secure digital landscape.

“We encourage all stakeholders within the digital content ecosystem to work together to develop robust regulatory frameworks that protect user interests and promote innovation.”

The Content Forum is registered under MCMC. It is designated by the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to oversee and promote self-regulation of content over the electronic networked medium.

Consisting of key players in the content industry, it includes advertisers, advertising agencies, broadcasters, content creators/distributors, audio text hosting service providers, internet service providers and civic groups.