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The Business Magazine July 2024
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‘Three months to save democracy’ – Surrey researchers warn of AI misinformation

The Business Magazine article image for: ‘Three months to save democracy’ – Surrey researchers warn of AI misinformation
26 March 2024

As millions of voters head to the polls this year, a new report from the University of Surrey’s Institute for People-Centred AI has highlighted the dangers of deepfakes and misinformation in the age of AI.

The report calls for campaigns teaching the public to spot AI-generated content, as well as greater funding for research into detecting deepfakes.

Dr Bahareh Heravi, a reader in AI and the Media at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI, said: “Misinformation at election time is nothing new. Yet AI makes it easier than ever before to sow false information among voters.

“That’s why we must give voters the tools to tell fact from fiction. Greater media literacy can only strengthen our democracy.”

Read the March 2024 issue of The Business Magazine, including our feature on skills

The report also recommends wider use of content verification, including clear labels for AI-generated material; a ‘fact-checkers code’ to encourage media companies to investigate and report misinformation; and laws to hold social media companies responsible for content on their platforms.

Dr Andrew Rogoyski, director of innovation and partnerships at the Institute for People-Centred AI, added: “This is a crucial year for the world’s democracies, with AI set to play a critical role whether we like it or not.

“Yet, so far, politicians have taken a back seat, letting academics and tech firms lead the conversation.

“With so much opportunity arising from AI, it’s unhelpful to let the negative applications like fakery and disinformation grow in use.

“We need our leaders to show up in this debate. They should demand action to help their constituents navigate democracy in the age of digital media and AI.

“They should also show personal leadership, perhaps by pledging not to use AI to mislead voters in this crucial election year?”

Read more - UCA launches initiative to foster growth of Surrey games sector


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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