Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Resist rushing to new “deepfake” law, study finds

Government should be cautious about moving to new law for “deepfake” audio and video, a new Law Foundation-backed study released today says.

Artificial intelligence techniques can create massive volumes of fake audio, images and video that is incredibly convincing and near-impossible to detect.

Co-author Tom Barraclough predicts that deepfake and other synthetic media will be the next wave of content causing concern to government and tech companies following the Christchurch Call. While it is tempting to respond with new law, the study finds that the long list of current legislation covering the issues may be sufficient.

“At least 16 current acts and formal guidelines touch on the potential harms of synthetic media (see note 1 below),” Tom says. “Before calling for new law or new regulators, let's work out what we've already got, and why existing law is or isn’t working.”

“Enforcing the existing law will be difficult enough, and it is not clear that any new law would be able to do better. Overseas attempts to draft law for deepfakes have been seriously criticised.”

The report follows a nine-month legal research project by Tom Barraclough and Curtis Barnes at Brainbox Limited, funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation. Their findings echo positions adopted by civil society organisations at the Christchurch Call.

The researchers say their work is the first step in a more specific analysis of how New Zealand law applies to synthetic media and other online content.

“Even if we can all agree something must be done, the next step is agreeing on specifics. That can’t be done without close analysis of the status quo,” Tom says.



“Calling for a kind of social media regulator is fine, but these suggestions need substance. What standards will the regulator apply? Would existing agencies do a better job? What does it mean specifically to say a company has a duty of care? The law has to give any Court or regulator some guidance.”

“Further, we must ask what private companies can do that governments can’t. We have to consider access to justice: often a quick solution is more important than a perfect one. Social media companies can restrict content in ways that Governments can’t: is that something we should encourage or restrict?”
The researchers point out that fake video is not inherently bad: synthetic media technologies are a key strength of New Zealand’s creative industries, and these should not be stifled. But there are many harmful uses that do need to be curtailed, including the creation of non-consensual pornography and using synthetic speech to produce false recordings of public figures.

“‘Fakeness’ is a slippery concept and can be hard to define, making regulation and automatic detection of fake media very difficult,” Tom says. “Some have said that synthetic media technologies mean that seeing is no longer believing, or that reality itself is under threat. We don’t agree with that. Harms can come from both too much scepticism as well as not enough.”

Brainbox is a research company and think-tank focused on the intersection of law, policy and emerging technologies. The Perception Inception project was funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation’s Information Law and Policy Project, with additional support from the New Zealand Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies at the University of Otago.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


"Biggest Shake-Up In 30 Years": Agency Teamups In New Public Service Act

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today announced the most significant changes to the New Zealand Public Service since the State Sector Act of 1988...

Under the changes, boards, made up of chief executives from relevant government agencies, will be established to tackle the most pressing issues. These boards, or joint ventures, would be accountable to a single minister and receive direct budget appropriations. Public servants from across the system will be deployed as required. More>>

 

Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Weeks Of Work Before Team Gets Beyond 170 Metres

No items of interest have been found in the latest forensic search of the tunnel between 30 and 170 metres, however, both the police and the Pike River Recovery Agency say it has been useful. More>>

ALSO:

Remaking Elections: Call For Four-Year Term, More MPs

A Victoria University report is proposing extending the parliamentary term to four years, and increasing the number of MPs, so politicians can plan better for the future. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Ban On Smoking In Cars With Children Passes First Reading

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill would allow police to issue $50 fines for those smoking with passengers under 18 years of age. More>>

ALSO:

Fair Pay Agreements Good: CTU Releases Report On Sector Bargaining

The Council of Trade Unions has released an independent report conducted by economic research company BERL into the validity of sector bargaining. More>>

ALSO:

Goldsmith New National Finance Spokesperson: Amy Adams To Leave Politics In 2020

Amy Adams has announced she will retire from politics at the 2020 election and as a consequence of that decision she has chosen to stand down from the spokesperson roles she holds in the Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Cosmetic Banking Reforms

The elephant in the room as the government carries out its latest bout of tinkerings with our banking practice is the extraordinary level of profit-taking still being extracted by the Australian Banking Gang from ordinary New Zealanders. Yes indeed, ... More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Offensive Language, Misuse Of Pepper Spray

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, following a pursuit in Auckland, a man was dealt with inappropriately and unprofessionally by a Police officer during his arrest. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels