Broadcast media must verify the authenticity of information before airing it, including content created using ChatGPT or other artificial intelligence (AI) generative applications, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.
While the Ministry of Digital Affairs and the National Science and Technology Council are in charge of developing the authentication mechanism for AI applications, other government agencies must also study how the evolution of AI might affect the businesses they oversee and whether the laws they are charged to enforce are adequate to cope with challenges brought by the technology.
“Broadcast media might use images and content generated by AI. If they want to use these AI-generated materials, they must still adhere to the fact-checking principle stated in the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法),” NCC Legal Department Deputy Director Hsieh Pei-ying (謝佩穎) told reporters on the sidelines of the commission’s weekly news conference.
Telecoms are using AI to filter scam calls, she said.
“In the long run, we might consider amending the broadcast regulations and Telecommunications Management Act (電信管理法) or issuing a directive guiding the use of AI generative applications, but before that happens, we need to identify what the main issues are,” Hsieh said.
Controversies caused by AI generative applications would still be addressed after the commission receives complaints from viewers, she added.
Separately, SET News and Formosa News have been told to improve their election day coverage after significant irregularities were spotted in their monitoring of vote counts during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 26 last year.
In its coverage of the Pingtung commissioner’s race, SET News erroneously switched the votes garnered by then-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Chou Chun-mi (周春米) and then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Su Ching-chuan (蘇清泉), said Chen Chin-shuan (陳金霜), a senior specialist at the NCC’s Department of Broadcasting and Content.
Due to a lag caused by switching to the Central Election Commission’s voting system, Su’s votes appeared to have surged at the beginning and gradually decreased toward the end, she said.
SET News corrected the errors during a special news program on election day, she said.
Irregularities at Formosa News occurred in its coverage of the Taipei mayoral election, in which votes garnered by then-DPP candidate Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) never trailed those received by then-KMT candidate Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), she said.
Formosa News said that some of their volunteers were supporters of the DPP candidate and failed to regularly check the number of votes that Chiang garnered, she said.
The two news channels have been told to address the issues, NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
“They should report vote counts based on valid sources, and explain how and where they get their voting data before the vote count begins,” Wong said.
Both must present specific plans for improvement following the incidents and have the plans reviewed by their respective ethics committees before uploading them online, he said.
“SET News should try to be precise when covering election news and writing headlines,” Wong said. “It should adopt foolproof measures for its vote-counting systems and revise procedures to make corrections. The incident should be used as an example in its training in the news department.”
“Formosa News should keep its vote count records, establish procedures to count and report votes, enhance training for workers and avoid long delays in reporting votes,” he said.
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