Will trucking suffer from deepfake? 

In News3 MinutesBy Dom KalasihFebruary 2, 2024

I never thought I’d be referring to Taylor Swift in one of my blogs, but I read this week about the deepfake scandal and it resonated with me.

It resonated because I think fake news is a risk for our sector.

There are lots of things that from a scientific and fact-based perspective that appear viable solutions, but for a range of other reasons, those solutions struggle to gain uptake.

I know I do things in ways that could be done a better way or maybe that I even shouldn’t be doing, and I suspect the same goes for most people. The brain is a funny thing, particularly when it comes to adapting to change or changing habits or behaviours that are well embedded, regardless of how rational that change might be!

One of the recent examples I saw was during a presentation overseas by a major tyre manufacturer that showed that, despite the clear commercial and environmental benefit of running eco-friendly tyres, their uptake by transport operators was still low.

How Transporting New Zealand can help with changing that is a story for another day, but it worries me that it’s already hard enough trying to dismiss some misplaced myths with the good quality and high integrity information that’s currently available.

A common myth that comes to mind is the reason for not wearing seatbelts – if there is a loss of control and the truck goes into water, then the seatbelt might trap the driver and prevent their escape, leading to drowning. With myths, often these are misunderstandings or they exist due to a limited understanding of the issue, so hopefully they can be busted.

However, there is no doubt that fake news is growing at global level and I’m sure there will be some in our sector. To me, information that is created to intentionally mislead people is unacceptable and will be a barrier to our sector evolving. How significant it becomes I’m not sure but I do believe it is a real risk.

I’m pretty ambivalent towards Taylor Swift, I can’t name any of her songs, but I’m terrible with any song names and lyrics regardless of the artist. However, if it takes Taylor Swift to make a change that can better control fake news, then all credit to her.

Regardless whether it’s fake news or myths, when was the last time you carefully scrutinised the quality and integrity of the information you are basing your key decision making on?

– By Dom Kalasih, interim chief executive, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand