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Australians increasingly concerned over impact of deepfakes on elections

Deepfakes and other AI-powered technologies are front of mind in this “critical election year”.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 29 Apr 2024
Australians increasingly concerned over impact of deepfakes on elections
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New global research from security firm McAfee has revealed a sharp rise in concern over artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as deepfakes negatively impacting 2024’s massive year of elections.

According to the research – which polled 7,000 people around the world in early 2024 – 43 per cent of Australians listed election interference as a key concern when it comes to the impact of AI-powered technology.

That’s a 66 per cent increase within a 12-month period.


“Deepfakes can be made by anyone in an afternoon. The tools to create cloned audio and deepfake video are readily available and take only a few hours to master, and it takes just seconds to convince you that it’s all real,” said Tyler McGee, head of APAC at McAfee, in a statement.

The problem is being exacerbated by how hard it is to spot AI content such as deepfakes.

Seventy-nine per cent of Australian social media users surveyed said they were finding it difficult to spot AI content online, and – even worse – only 25 per cent said they felt confident being able to confirm whether or not a call from a friend or relative was being faked.

As to actually experiencing deepfake content, 40 per cent of Australian respondents said they had seen at least some such content, while 21 per cent said they’d encountered a deepfake scam, with 7 per cent actually falling victim to one.

Of those who’ve come across such scams, 28 per cent said it was some form of AI voice scam, while another 24 per cent said they themselves had been faked to trick someone they know.

Celebrities are a popular target, too, with 65 per cent of Australians admitting they had encountered fake celebrity content and not even noticed.

“This is raising critical questions about the authenticity of content, especially in a year where so many elections are happening, including here in Australia. Democracy is on the ballot this year thanks to AI,” McGee concluded.

Approximately 2 billion people will vote in some form of election in 2024, including in eight out of 10 of the most populous countries in the world.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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