EU Probes Big Tech’s Use of AI, Deepfakes Ahead of Elections

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The European Union is launching a major investigation into Big Tech companies’ use of generative AI, particularly their handling of deepfakes. This probe comes ahead of key EU parliamentary elections this summer, where officials fear manipulated content could disrupt the democratic process.

Tech giants under scrutiny: Meta, Microsoft, Snap, TikTok, and X (Elon Musk’s company) will all be required to respond to inquiries about their strategies for mitigating risks associated with generative AI. This includes issues like:

  • AI-generated misinformation (“hallucinations”)
  • Viral spread of deepfakes
  • Automated manipulation of online services to mislead voters

Deadline for responses:

  • April 5th: Information on measures to prevent election misinformation.
  • April 26th: Responses on broader topics like user privacy, intellectual property, and child safety.

EU’s goals:

  • Understand how tech companies are handling deepfakes.
  • Warn Big Tech that AI misuse could lead to penalties under the Digital Services Act.
  • Inform upcoming election security guidelines for online platforms.

Investigation’s broader scope:

The probe extends beyond election concerns, looking at the impact of generative AI on user privacy, intellectual property, civil rights, and children’s well-being.

X investigation connection:

The EU cites concerns about automated manipulation on X’s platform, potentially linking this investigation to their ongoing probe into the company following the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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