UK elections watchdog says AI deepfakes are undermining elections
Currently, the laws protecting from political disinformation are too old, fragmented, and partially based on regulations from the 19th century.
Louise Edwards, director of regulation and digital transformation at the UK Electoral Commission, called for updating the law to prevent AI deepfakes from undermining elections. AI deepfakes are digitally manipulated media that can replicate likenesses and voices, creating images or videos of people doing or saying things they never did. AI-generated deepfakes could then be used to damage the political reputation, spread disinformation, and weaken voters’ awareness of what is true and what is false.
Currently, the laws protecting from political disinformation are too old, fragmented, and partially based on regulations from the 19th century. It does not guard against different ways political disinformation through AI deepfakes can subvert the democratic processes. It does not guard against false statements related to policy or expressions of opinion about someone’s character.
Current law also falls short in providing custodial sentences, with monetary fines being the only means of deterrence. The UK government has been called on to ensure that deepfakes do not disrupt the next election cycle.