Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has revealed plans to introduce technology capable of detecting and labelling images generated by artificial intelligence (AI) tools developed by other companies. This technology, currently under development, will be implemented on Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads.

While Meta already labels AI-generated images produced by its own systems, the new technology aims to address the growing concern surrounding AI-generated fakery in media. Senior executive Sir Nick Clegg emphasised Meta’s intention to expand the labelling of AI-generated content in the coming months, aiming to create momentum for the industry to combat AI manipulation.

However, AI experts caution that such detection tools may be easily evaded. Professor Soheil Feizi from the University of Maryland’s Reliable AI Lab expressed skepticism, suggesting that while detectors may flag specific images generated by certain models, they can be circumvented with lightweight processing techniques, leading to false positives.

Meta acknowledges the limitations of its detection tool, stating that it will not be effective for audio and video content, which are often the focus of AI fakery concerns. Instead, Meta plans to rely on users to label their own audio and video posts and may apply penalties for non-compliance.

Despite efforts to address AI-generated content, Meta’s policies on manipulated media have faced criticism. Meta’s Oversight Board recently criticised the company for its “incoherent” and insufficiently justified policy on manipulated media, urging updates to better address the proliferation of synthetic and hybrid content.

In response to the criticism, Sir Clegg acknowledged the shortcomings of Meta’s existing policy and expressed agreement with the Oversight Board’s ruling. He highlighted Meta’s policy requiring political adverts to signal digitally altered images or videos, which has been in effect since January.

As Meta navigates the challenges of combating AI-generated fakery and updating its policies to address evolving threats, the company faces ongoing scrutiny over its approach to manipulated media in the digital landscape.