On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns about the potential misuse of artificial intelligence in creating deepfake videos, emphasizing the risk of a significant crisis. Speaking at the BJP’s ‘Diwali Milan’ event, he urged the media to play a role in raising awareness about the negative impact and misuse of deepfakes to educate the public.
During the event at the party’s headquarters, the prime minister shared a lighthearted anecdote about encountering a deepfake video of himself participating in a garba festival, even though he had not done so since his school days. He humorously noted that even those who support him were forwarding the video. Modi highlighted the potential for deepfakes to cause crises in a diverse society like India, where trust in media content is high. He underscored the emerging crisis posed by deepfakes generated through artificial intelligence, particularly in a society lacking a robust verification system.
Deepfake videos involve the use of synthetic media to replace a person in an existing image or video with someone else’s likeness. Modi observed a shift in the impact of controversial content, noting that such issues now escalate into major problems rather than fading away. He proposed that, similar to health warnings on cigarette products, deepfakes should be required to carry disclosures.
Referring to his vision for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India) by 2047, Modi emphasized that this goal is not mere rhetoric but a tangible reality. He commended the support received for the ‘vocal for local’ campaign, citing a business turnover of approximately Rs 4.5 lakh crore during the Diwali week, including Chhath-related transactions. The prime minister highlighted India’s achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recognition received, with 130 countries participating in a Global South summit hosted by India.
Modi asserted that India is on an upward trajectory and called on the media to contribute to the nation’s development by showcasing its strengths truthfully. He anticipated that discussions around a developed India and its economy would be central for the next 25 years. With festivals like Chhath being celebrated across the country, he acknowledged the positive impact of electronic media, making events like Durga Puja and Navratri global phenomena.
Notably, as the BJP hosted the ‘Diwali Milan’ for the first time in several years, Modi highlighted the festive joy and the apparent disappearance of COVID-19. Expressing concern for the health of journalists, especially in the current tense and busy environment, he advocated for regular health check-ups for them.