In September 2022, IPTC Managing Director Brendan Quinn was invited to attended a workshop at the Royal Society in London, held in conjunction with the BBC. It was convened to discuss concerns about content provenance, threats to society due to misinformation and disinformation, and the idea of a “public-service internet.”
A note summarising the outcomes of the meeting has now been published. The Royal Society says, “This note provides a summary of workshop discussions exploring the potential of digital content provenance and a ‘public service internet’.”
The workshop note gives a summary of key takeaways from the event:
- Digital content provenance is an imperfect and limited – yet still critically important – solution to the challenge of AI-generated misinformation.
- A provenance-establishing system that can account for the international and culturally diverse nature of misinformation is essential for its efficacy.
- Digital content provenance tools present significant technical and ethical challenges, including risks related
to privacy, security and literacy.
- Understanding how best to embed ideas such as digital content provenance into counter-misinformation strategies may require revisiting the rules which dictate how information is transmitted over the internet.
- A ‘public service internet’ presents an interesting and new angle through which public service objectives can shape the information environment; however, the end state of such a system requires greater clarity and should include a wide range of voices, including historically excluded groups.
The IPTC is already participating in several projects looking at concrete responses to the problems of misinformation and disinformation in the media, via our work theme on Trust and Credibility in the Media. We are on the Steering Committee of Project Origin, and work closely with C2PA and the Content Authenticity Initiative.
The IPTC looks forward to further work in this area.The IPTC and its members will be happy to contribute to more workshops and studies by the Royal Society and other groups.