Artificial intelligence may actually be the solution to curbing the spread of fake news

Seiz-Fung Lee, Benjamin CM. Fung, McGill University

Montreal, November 29 (The Conversation) There has been propaganda in war and military strategy. But there is no doubt that it is being accelerated further with the use of smart technology and social media. That’s because these communication technologies provide a relatively low-cost, low-interruption way to convey any information anywhere.

So the big question is: can this enormous problem of scale and access, which has arisen due to technical reasons, be solved using technology? Indeed, the continuous development of new technological solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) may provide a solution to this to some extent.

Technology companies and social media enterprises are working on automatic detection of fake news through natural language processing, machine learning and network analysis. The idea is to develop an algorithm or system that would identify any information as “fake news” and downplay it to discourage users from viewing it.

Repetition and Exposure

From a psychological point of view, repeated exposure to the same information makes it more possible for someone to believe it. When AI identifies information as being bogus, it minimizes the chances of it coming up again and again. This allows it to break the cycle of reinforced information consumption patterns.

However, it is still unreliable for AI to detect any information is bogus. First, current identification is based on an assessment of the text (content) and its social networks to determine its credibility. Despite the origins of the sources and the dissemination patterns of fake news being determined, the fundamental problem remains how AI verify the true nature of the content.

Theoretically, if the amount of training data is sufficient, an AI-assisted classification model will be able to interpret whether an article contains fake news. Yet the reality is that making such distinctions requires extensive political, cultural and social knowledge, or common sense in the system, which is still lacking in natural language processing algorithms.

In addition, fake news is deliberately crafted when it is intended to be “real news” but contains false or manipulative information, as in a pre-print study. Get to know from.

human-AI partnership

Classification analysis is also heavily influenced by topic – AI often separates topics rather than the content of the issue to determine its authenticity. For example, articles related to COVID-19 are more likely to be labeled as fake news than other topics.

One solution would be to hire people to work with AI to verify the authenticity of the information. For example, in 2018, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense developed an AI program that “marks propaganda within two minutes of publication and sends those reports to human experts for further analysis.”

A similar approach could be adopted in Canada by establishing a national specialized unit or department to combat misinformation or by promoting think tanks, universities and other third parties to research AI solutions to fake news.

avoiding censorship

In some cases, controlling the spread of fake news can be seen as a threat to censorship and freedom of speech and expression. Even a human can find it difficult to decide whether the information is bogus or not. And so perhaps the bigger question is, what is the definition of fake news?


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