Feb 6, 2024 - Technology

Facebook, Instagram posts with AI-generated images will be labeled, Meta says

Illustration of a small Meta logo under a magnifying glass surrounded by a larger, out of focus version

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Meta announced Tuesday that it plans to start applying labels to Facebook, Instagram and Threads posts that contain images the company has identified as generated by AI.

Why it matters: Meta-owned platforms host more than 5 billion active accounts and every one of its apps will be subject to the labeling policy in all supported languages.

Details: Meta's technical solution for automatically labeling AI-generated images is not yet ready — users can expect that in "coming months," the company said.

  • Meta will use metadata to identify AI-generated images from Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Adobe, Midjourney and Shutterstock.
  • Additionally, Meta is "working hard to develop classifiers that can help us to automatically detect AI-generated content, even if the content lacks invisible markers," Nick Clegg, president for global affairs, wrote in a blog post.
  • Ahead of automatic labeling, Meta is adding a feature that lets users disclose when they share AI-generated or digitally altered "photorealistic" video or audio and Meta will label that content, Clegg wrote.
  • "We'll require people to use this disclosure and label tool when they post organic content with a photorealistic video or realistic-sounding audio that was digitally created or altered and we may apply
    penalties if they fail to do so," per Clegg.

The big picture: Meta's independent Oversight Board on Monday criticized the company's manipulated media policy as "incoherent, lacking in persuasive justification" and recommended revisions.

Details: The board's comments were attached to a ruling that upheld Meta's decision to allow a manipulated video of President Joe Biden to remain posted.

  • The video originally showed Biden exchanging "I Voted" stickers with his adult granddaughter in the 2022 midterm elections and was later altered to look like Biden touched his granddaughter's chest inappropriately.
  • The video didn't violate Meta's current policies because it was not altered with AI. The Oversight Board suggested Meta policies should address content showing people doing or saying things they did not do, regardless of how it was created.

Between the lines: Meta's new labeling approach — with its inclusion of "organic content with a photorealistic video or realistic-sounding audio" — addresses the Oversight Board's criticisms.

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