The 9pm Devilish Deepfakes of Democracy with Zoe Hawkins

Zoe Hawkins

The last couple of weeks have been full of online safety news, from eSafety Commissioner v X Corp in the Federal Court to AI to deepfakes. So my guest this time is. Zoe Jay Hawkins, head of policy design at ANU’s Tech Policy Design Centre.

In this episode we talk about the way AI and deepfakes might influence this year’s many elections, the polarisation of the online safety debate, free speech, content classification, and much more.

This conversation was recorded on 6 June 2024.

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Episode Links

  • [1 February 2024] Tech Policy Design Centre extends a warm welcome to our inaugural Head of Policy Design (Zoe Hawkins) and Head of Education Design (Simon McAllister).
  • [18 December 2023] n this alumni spotlight: “Five years on - where are they now?”, we have the pleasure of speaking with 2019 Young Women to Watch in International Affairs Finalist and Tech Policy Specialist Zoe Hawkins about her remarkable career at the nexus of technology and international affairs.
  • [30 May 2024] The explosion of generative AI tools for text, images, audio and video is dramatically shifting the way Australians create and engage with information. How can we maintain the integrity and trust of elections in the age of generative AI?
  • The year 2024 is notable for the large number of elections being held worldwide: at least 64 countries, home to nearly half of the global population, will vote, including eight of the world's 10 most populous nations – Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States; in addition, the European Union is set to hold elections for the European Parliament in June. Around 2 billion voters – approximately a quarter of the world's population – are eligible to vote in elections this year.
  • On 26 March 2024, the Senate resolved that the Select Committee on Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI), be established to inquire into and report on the opportunities and impacts for Australia arising out of the uptake of AI technologies in Australia. The committee intends to report to the Parliament on or before 19 September 2024.
  • [13 May 2024] The country was able to limit the impact of AI-generated deepfakes during its recent National Assembly elections. What can other countries learn from its experience?
  • [6 June 2024] Michael Miller, Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia, Addresses the National Press Club of Australia on "Australia and Global Tech: time for a reset".
  • [6 June 02024] In just one generation, we have gone from magic to madness argues News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller, who is calling on Australia to impose a ‘social licence’ to force Tech monopolies to play by Australian rules.
  • [23 September 2012] Last month I took part in a fascinating discussion about the impact of social media and related breakthroughs at Consilium [PDF], an invitation-only annual conference put together by the Centre for Independent Studies. Here’s part of what I said.
  • Key Insights: Double the number of people (42%) see AI as more of a risk over those who see it as more of an opportunity (21%); 69% support increasing the age limit on social media platforms from 13 to 16 years old; 62% support making hate speech a criminal offence.
  • [22 February 2023] KPMG partnered with The University of Queensland to lead a world-first deep dive into global attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • [21 May 2024] Generative AI was not as good as humans at reading reams of documents on corporate regulation, turning in bland summaries that failed to pick up on nuances noticed by people, an experiment by the regulator [ASIC] found.
  • Chowilla Dam was a proposed water storage reservoir on the Murray River in the 1960s. The dam wall would have been in South Australia, but the reservoir behind it would have stretched upstream into Victoria and New South Wales. The site was selected in 1960. Early preparations for its construction were conducted before the project was halted. These included a 23 km service railway from the Barmera railway line, which was dismantled without ever actually being used.
  • [2 June 2024] The sharing of non-consensual deepfake sexually explicit material will carry a penalty of six years in jail. If a person also created the deepfake shared without consent, there will be an aggravated offence that carries a higher penalty of seven years' imprisonment.
  • This Bill amends the Criminal Code Act 1995 to strengthen offences targeting the creation and non-consensual sharing of sexually explicit material online, including material that has been created or altered using technology such as deepfakes.
  • St Michael's House was an Australian educational institution in Crafers outside Adelaide, under the auspices of the Society of the Sacred Mission, established in 1947 and which was destroyed by fire in the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983 shortly after its closure. It trained candidates for ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia.
  • Scandal'us (or Scandal'Us) were the winners of the Australian Popstars 2 in 2001 (successors of Bardot, the winners of the first Australian Popstars in 2000). They won an ARIA chart award for their No. 1 debut single "Me, Myself & I". Their second and final single, "Make Me Crazy", only reached No. 30. Their debut album, Startin' Somethin', debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The group disbanded in 2002.
  • "Me, Myself & I", the first single from Australian Popstars 2 winners Scandal'us. Released in 2001 under Festival Mushroom Records.
  • [5 June 2024] A legal battle to have graphic footage of a church stabbing in Sydney removed from Elon Musk's social media platform X will be abandoned by the eSafety commissioner. Commissioner Julie Inman Grant confirmed the Federal Court case would be abandoned, after several blows in court and an attempt to temporarily force the footage to be hidden expiring.
  • [5 June 2023] Today I have decided to consolidate action concerning my Class 1 removal notice to X Corp in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. After weighing multiple considerations, including litigation across multiple cases, I have considered this option likely to achieve the most positive outcome for the online safety of all Australians, especially children.
  • [5 June 2024] Regulator will now focus on tribunal case launched by Elon Musk’s social media platform which is seeking a review of decision to order removal of tweets.
  • In law, comity is "a principle or practice among political entities such as countries, states, or courts of different jurisdictions, whereby legislative, executive, and judicial acts are mutually recognized." It is an informal and non-mandatory courtesy to which a court of one jurisdiction affords to the court of another jurisdiction when determining questions where the law or interests of another country are involved. Comity is founded on the concept of sovereign equality among states and is expected to be reciprocal.
  • Helping you choose what to watch and play.
  • The Australian Classification Board (ACB or CB) is an Australian government statutory body responsible for the classification and censorship of films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia.
  • [5 June 2024] In an exclusive interview with ABC Afternoon Briefing, Ms Inman-Grant argued the way the social media companies are structured meant content must be removed "globally", and Australia should have the right to issue those take downs.
  • Your input will help inform Australia’s online safety legislation. The Online Safety Act 2021 must be independently reviewed within 3 years after commencement, under a statutory requirement. The Australian Government has brought forward this independent review so that the Act can keep pace with the evolving online environment.
  • [19 May 2024] T?here are increased calls to introduce radical new measures that would implement age restrictions on social media use. In May's budget, the federal government announced a $6.5 million trial of? age verification technology to crack down on child safety online.

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CONVERSATION TOPICS: Barry Anderson, Joanna Forbes, Paul McElwee, and Peter Viertel.

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