The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) has released new survey data indicating almost half (48%) of Canadians are not confident in their ability to distinguish between fake news generated by AI and human-produced content.
The survey found a majority (58%) of respondents have encountered misleading or false online/social media information in the past six months they believe was generated by AI.
Intergenerationally, 71% of Gen Z – those aged 18 to 26 – were most likely to say they’d encountered AI-generated content, in addition to those residing in British Columbia (63%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and Ontario (61%), as well as university-educated respondents (63%).
Those most confident in their ability to determine the difference between AI and human content generation, 63% were Gen Z (aged 18-26) and more likely to be male (58% versus 46% of women), living in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario, and the least educated (54%).
“When half the Canadian public is challenged on deciding what’s real and not, the credibility of both journalism and media outlets has never mattered more,” said John Wright, Executive Vice President of Maru Public Opinion, which conducted the study, in a release. “Without a reliable anchor for truth in this incredible sea of change, online deception will easily distort reality, wreaking confusion and skepticism everywhere.”
“These findings emphasize the crucial need for promoting news literacy across all segments of Canadian society,” added Natalie Turvey, CJF President and Executive Director. “The CJF is committed to serving as a driving force for advancing news literacy skills and critical thinking to enhance public understanding of the media and also to nurture trust between Canadians and their news sources.”
CJF board chair Kathy English currently represents the organization on an international committee chaired by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa to develop a global charter aimed at regulating the use of AI in media.
Seventy-one per cent of respondents to the CJF survey expressed their opinion that governments will not be able to regulate companies that generate AI content for online/social media use.
The survey involved a random selection of 1,525 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists, Oct. 11-12. The results were weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to census data. The estimated margin of error is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
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