Delhi HC seeks Centre’s stand on PIL against deepfakes, artificial intelligence

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a public interest litigation against the unregulated use of artificial intelligence and deepfakes.

Deepfakes are videos or images that are created using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered deep learning software that show people saying and doing things that they didn’t say or do.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan observed that technology cannot be “reined in” and the issue raised by the petitioner required deliberations which only the government could undertake.

“There is no easy solution. It requires a lot of deliberation. It is a very complicated technology,” the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna, said.

Maintaining that the matter required balancing several factors as there were certain positive uses of the technology, the court added, “It is something that only the government with all its resources can do.”

The central government counsel said it was public knowledge that the government was looking into the issue and sought time to seek instructions.

Regulations are in place and the ministry has already said it is a serious issue, he stated.

The petitioner, represented by advocate Manohar Lal, said while technological development was happening by leaps and bounds, the law was moving at a snail’s speed.

Law by its nature lags behind, the court said as it listed the case for further hearing on January 8.

Petitioner Chaitanya Rohilla, a lawyer, sought directions to the Centre to identify and block websites providing access to deepfakes and regulate artificial intelligence to protect the fundamental rights of citizens.

Artificial intelligence has its own deep-rooted challenges and it was necessary to fill the vacuum caused of the absence of regulations, his lawyer said as he highlighted certain recent instances of misuse of deepfake technology.

Actor Rashmika Mandanna recently became a victim of a deepfake video where her face was superimposed on the body of another person.

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