The deepfake controversy is not showing signs of stopping after Rashmika Mandhana, Kajol, and Katrina Kaif. Another B-town actress, Alia Bhatt, is the latest victim of AI-generated Deepfake technology. On social media, a girl who resembles Alia can be seen dressed in a blue floral co-ord set and making obscene gestures to the camera. This viral video, however, has been morphed. The ‘Student of the Year’ actress’s face was pasted over someone else’s body in the video.
Amid all this, Alia Bhatt won Best Actor in the Web Original Film category at the Filmfare OTT Awards for her web debut, Darlings. She also received a National Award for performing in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi. Her most recent films include Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani ki Prem Kahaani and her Hollywood debut, Heart of Stone. She is also working on Vasan Bala’s Jigra.
Recently, Rashmika Mandanna’s deepfake video sparked controversy on the Internet. The video showed a woman in a black yoga bodysuit, whose face had been morphed into Rashmika, entering an elevator and smiling for the camera.
Then, Kajol became the victim of AI-generated deepfake videos. A video purportedly showing the actress changing clothes went viral on social media. Katrina Kaif was also a victim of deepfake, as an AI-generate photo from the towel fight scene in ‘Tiger 3’ surfaced on social media. While in the original image, Katrina is fighting Michelle Lee while wearing a white towel, the morphed photograph showed her in the same pose but wearing a different and altered outfit, making her appear indecent.
Following multiple reports of AI-generated deepfake videos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern. ‘A new crisis is emerging due to deepfakes produced by artificial intelligence,’ he said of the AI-powered technological feature. A large segment of society lacks a parallel verification system and thus believes them. This will lead to a significant challenge.
Legal Restrictions in India
Right now, India has no legal restrictions on the use of deepfake technology. However, specific laws can be addressed for misusing technology, such as copyright infringement, defamation, and cyber felonies.
To address the issue, the central government plans to develop actionable measures across four pillars in the next ten days. These pillars include detecting deepfakes, limiting content dissemination, improving reporting mechanisms, and raising public awareness about the issue.IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw – 23 November, 2023
We must be able to decipher, comprehend, translate, and apply the information we encounter as media consumers. The best way to deal with this issue is to use technical solutions backed by artificial intelligence that detect and block deep fakes. Media literacy must be improved before addressing the issues surrounding deep fakes.
There is also a need for technology that is simple to use and accessible to detect deep fakes, authenticate media, and amplify authoritative sources. To combat the threat of deep fakes, society must take responsibility for being a critical consumer of media on the Internet, thinking and pausing before sharing on social media, and being part of the solution.