Sadiq Khan Claims Fake AI Audio Almost Caused Serious Unrest


London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed concern over a deepfake audio clip of him making inflammatory remarks before Armistice Day, stating that it almost incited “serious disorder”. Khan criticized the current law as inadequate in dealing with AI-generated fakes, as the creator of the audio faced no consequences. The clip, which was spread widely on social media, used artificial intelligence to mimic Khan’s voice and make disparaging comments about Remembrance weekend and promote pro-Palestinian marches.

The fake audio clip emerged amid a political controversy, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak criticizing the pro-Palestinian marches as disrespectful on Armistice Day. Khan voiced his concern over the potential for such deepfake audios to exacerbate tensions during sensitive times such as elections or periods of community unrest.

The audio was initially shared by an account called HJB News on TikTok, which also posts anti-immigration content and some racist material. The person behind the account, known only as Henry, denied creating the clip but admitted to sharing it.

One of the major accounts that helped the fake audio go viral was Little Boats on X, managed by Jeremy Davis. Davis apologized for sharing the fake audio but maintained his suspicion about Khan’s beliefs.

Khan emphasized the need for organizations like the Electoral Commission to have more power to deal with faked information. He also expressed concern over social media companies’ lack of response when the fake audio went viral. TikTok responded by stating that it does not allow synthetic media containing the likeness of any real private figure and removes such content.

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