AI-generated fake videos stir controversy in indian elections.

In a troubling turn of events, fabricated videos featuring two prominent Bollywood actors, Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh, have circulated widely on social media platforms, depicting them criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and advocating support for the opposition Congress party in India’s ongoing general election.

The deceptive 30-second clip featuring Aamir Khan and the 41-second video of Ranveer Singh purportedly highlight Modi’s failure to fulfill campaign promises and address critical economic issues during his tenure as prime minister. Both videos conclude with the Congress party’s election symbol and slogan: “Vote for Justice, Vote for Congress.”

The widespread dissemination of these AI-generated videos underscores the potential influence of manipulated content in India’s mammoth election, which commenced recently and is slated to continue until June. The utilization of AI and deepfakes in electoral campaigns is a growing trend witnessed not only in India but also in countries like the US, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

While political campaigning in India traditionally relied on door-to-door outreach and public rallies, the advent of social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook as campaign tools gained prominence in 2019. This election marks the first instance of AI being employed in Indian electoral strategies, with Prime Minister Modi seeking a rare third term.

Despite efforts to curb the spread of misinformation, the videos have garnered significant traction, prompting concerns about their potential to sway public opinion. Facebook and other platforms have taken steps to remove some versions of the videos, but challenges persist in combating their proliferation.

The controversy surrounding these fake videos has escalated to legal dimensions, with Aamir Khan filing a case in Mumbai against unnamed individuals for alleged impersonation and cheating in creating the fake content. Police investigations are underway, although technical challenges in tracing the originators of such content pose hurdles.

In addition to the fake videos involving Bollywood actors, AI is being utilized in other innovative ways in this year’s election. For instance, Congress leader Vijay Vasanth’s team created a poignant AI-generated clip featuring his deceased father seeking votes, while the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) deployed an AI-generated anchor to critique the ruling party in West Bengal state.

As India grapples with the ramifications of AI-generated disinformation in its electoral processes, the incident underscores the urgent need for robust regulatory frameworks and technological interventions to safeguard the integrity of democratic processes.