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Editors warn of AI-generated misinformation


Newspaper editors believe that the threat of AI-generated misinformation poses a greater threat than ever before.

The research from News Media Association and Newsworks has been published as global tech leaders gather at Bletchley Park for the UK’s AI Safety Summit.

The OnePoll survey from Newsworks found that the spread of misinformation and fake news was identified as the public’s main concern with AI (67%), ahead of the lack of human creativity and judgment (63%), and the loss of human jobs (61%).

A second YouGov poll of editors and MPs by the NMA found that three quarters of MPs agreed that trusted journalism created by news publishers is critical in minimising the risk of misinformation ahead of a potential general election next year. 

There was a split, with 85% of Labour MPs agreeing with the statement, compared to 69% of Conservative MPs.

97% of news editors, who responded, agreed that the risk to the public from AI-generated misinformation ahead of a potential election next year was greater than ever before. 60% of MPs agreed with the same statement.

“At a time when AI can rapidly fuel the spread of fake news, trusted journalism has never been more important,” said Media Minister Sir John Whittingdale.

“We are in ongoing discussions with news industry leaders on the steps we can take to protect journalism from the risks of AI while harnessing its benefits, and through the UK’s upcoming AI Safety Summit we are working to encourage global cooperation on the responsible use of this powerful technology.”

72% of people said that they would prefer to read content solely created by humans. While 59% believed AI could erode trust and credibility in online information sources.

74% of those surveyed said they were unsure if they could identify if content had been generated by AI.

86% believed there should be guidelines or regulations in place for AI-generated content online.

“As global leaders gather in Bletchley Park to discuss the future of AI, it is essential that the importance of protecting trusted journalism from the damaging effects of this technology is not overlooked. Society values trusted journalism and it is essential government’s do all they can to support a free and sustainable press,” added NMA Chief Executive Owen Meredith.

“Robust IP rights are fundamental to sustained investment in journalism and tools must be developed to ensure that publishers can fully protect their content from being exploited by AI companies who rely on journalist works to train their systems.”

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