Friday, December 8, 2023

Meta will ban generative AI in political ads, to avoid a new explosion of fake news

There is just under a year until the United States presidential elections, but big technology companies are already working to prevent the spread of false information through their platforms. GoalFor example, will not allow its generative AI tools to be used in political ads.

This was confirmed by a spokesperson for Mark Zuckerberg’s firm to Reuters. Those in Menlo Park have already updated several articles in their Help Center to reflect this determination. However, the changes to the standards imposed by the company on advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram have not yet been applied.

It is also unclear when Meta’s ban on the use of generative AI in political ads would take effect. In any case, it is logical to think that an attempt will be made to implement this measure as soon as possible, considering the important electoral process that will take place in 2024 in the United States.

Californians have been involved in quite uncomfortable situations in the past due to the interference that advertising campaigns with false information had in previous presidential elections. In 2019, for example, more than 250 employees of Meta – Facebook, at that time – charged against their main executives for not having a plan to verify the veracity of political advertisements. And this was long before the craze over generative AI came onto the scene.

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

Once this Meta ban on the use of generative AI takes effect, the company will be aligned with the strategy of other large technology companies. In the case of Google, its advertising tools that use artificial intelligence have a kind of word filter. This prevents it from working if you try to create campaigns linked to politics.

Other platforms like Snapchat and TikTok have taken more drastic measures, banning political ads entirely. While X (Twitter) opted for a different route. Elon Musk’s people recently announced that they will allow this type of advertising again, after banishing them worldwide in 2019.

It is worth noting that Meta’s idea is not only to prevent the creation of political ads with its generative AI tools. In fact, the plan is much broader. Zuckerberg’s people intend to banish the use of this technology in any advertising campaign linked to sensitive topics, such as housing, employment, financial services, health or pharmaceuticalsamong others.

“We believe this approach will allow us to better understand potential risks and create appropriate safeguards for the use of generative AI in ads related to potentially sensitive topics in regulated industries,” the Menlo Park team said.

Meta’s generative AI-based advertising tools were announced in early October. According to the company, its goal is to “unlock a new era of creativity and maximize productivity, personalization and performance” for advertisers.

The utilities available in principle address fairly simple issues. For example, expanding images beyond their original borders, creating new backgrounds for a photo, or generating variations of text to make it more attractive. Nothing too scandalous, certainly.

However, Concern about its possible misuse in political advertisements, or other sensitive topics, did not take long to appear.. Zuckerberg’s team is betting that these features based on artificial intelligence will be available worldwide from 2024.

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