British News Networks at Risk on Election Day: ITN CEO Warns of Deepfakes and Misinformation

  • British news networks can’t quickly counter deepfakes and misinformation on election day due to strict reporting rules, warns ITN CEO Rachel Corp.
  • Corp has been pushing for AI regulation in journalism, stressing the new threats generative AI poses, especially around crucial dates like elections.
  • ITN has partnered with Open Origins to use unique IDs for their news clips to ensure authenticity, but Corp is calling for broader protections against both deepfakes and subtler manipulations.

UK News Networks Can’t Stop Deepfakes On General Election Day—Oh, The Drama!

Alright folks, gather ’round, because we’ve got some juicy news from across the pond! Turns out, the UK’s news networks might be up a creek without a paddle when it comes to battling deepfakes during the upcoming general election. And who’s spilling the tea? None other than Rachel Corp, the big boss at ITN.

Why July 4th Has Everyone Sweating Bullets

Rachel’s been having heart-to-hearts with the government for months, trying to holler about the potential train wreck AI could cause for news reporting. She’s got “particular concern” over July 4th. No, it’s not about fireworks or hotdogs – that’s Yankee stuff – but because of some bonkers restrictive reporting rules that kick in only on election day.

Here’s the lowdown: on July 4th, UK news outlets have to ditch their usual election coverage. Instead, they’re basically reduced to filming politicians voting and snapping pics of dogs outside polling stations. Yup, dogs. As Rachel puts it, if a wild deepfake of Rishi Sunak high-fiving Vladimir Putin hits the net, journalists can’t swoop in to debunk it. “We can’t counter that, so there is a danger there,” she says. “We would have to talk to regulators, but there isn’t that instant oomph of us jumping in to counter [deepfakes]”.

The AI Elephant in the Room

Last year, Rachel was all up in lawmakers’ grills, urging them to include journalism in their AI regulation talks. Deepfakes were already on her radar as the next UK election loomed closer. Fast forward a year, and Rachel’s saying “generative AI has changed the conversation.” Protecting news networks from these digital tricksters shouldn’t just fall on news organizations, she insists.

To fight the good fight, ITN is buddying up with an AI-protection platform called Open Origins. This partnership means that ITN’s 1.5 million archived news clips will get ID stamps proving they’re human-made and copyright compliant. Rachel’s crossing her fingers for more deals like this, calling the Open Origins partnership a first-of-its-kind.

Don’t Forget About “Shallower Fakes”

And if you thought deepfakes were bad, hold onto your hats because Rachel is also worried about “shallower fakes.” These little devils are all about subtle trickery. Imagine someone turning your cheeky grin into a grumpy scowl with just a few tweaks. “What that can do to the narrative is a problem,” says Rachel, adding that fact-checking has become a daily grind in newsrooms.

So, What’s the Takeaway?

Rachel’s got us all on high alert about the wild west that AI and deepfakes could turn Election Day into. With the potential to deceive even the sharpest eyes, it’s clear that this isn’t just a news organization problem—it’s everyone’s issue.

So, stay savvy out there, folks! And share this article with your friends to keep them in the loop. The more we know, the better we can navigate the minefield of modern news. Let’s keep the conversations going because, in the end, it’s all about staying informed in this brave new world.

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