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The United Nations has called AI-generated media a “serious and urgent” threat to the integrity of information, especially on social media.
In a June 12 report, the UN said the risk of disinformation spreading online has “had increased” due to the “rapid development of technologies such as generative artificial intelligence” and highlighted deepfakes.
The UN said that false information and hate speech generated by AI are “convincingly presented to users as fact.” Last month, the S&P 500 fell briefly due to an AI-generated image and a fake news report about an explosion near the Pentagon.
He urged AI stakeholders to combat the spread of misinformation and asked them to take “urgent and immediate” action to ensure the responsible use of AI, adding:
“The era of the Silicon Valley philosophy of ‘move fast and break things’ must be over.”
On the same day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres held a press conference and said that the “alarm bells” about generative AI are “deafening” and “the loudest from the developers who developed it.”
Alarm over generative AI, as relevant as it is, must not obscure damage being done by digital tech enabling the spread of hate speech, mis- & disinformation now.
Fueling conflict & destruction.
Threatening democracy & human rights.
Undermining public health & #ClimateAction. pic.twitter.com/XlisItDQIG
— Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 12, 2023
Guterres added that the report “will serve as the basis for the UN Code of Conduct on Information Integrity on Digital Platforms.” The Code is being developed ahead of the Summit of the Future, a conference that will take place in late September 2024 and is designed to hold intergovernmental discussions on a variety of issues.
“The code of conduct will be a set of principles that we hope governments, digital platforms and other stakeholders will voluntarily follow,” he said.
“The biggest political challenge ever”
Meanwhile, on June 13, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Conservative Party politician William Hague released a report on AI.
The pair suggested that the governments of the UK, the US and “other allies” “push through a new UN structure for urgent security measures.”
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The pair said the advent of AI “could be the biggest political issue ever faced” due to its “unpredictable development” and “ever-growing power”.
Blair and Haig added that “existing government approaches and channels are ill-tuned” for such technology.