How AI can fight the phenomenon of fake news

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One of the more unsettling developments in recent months has been the phenomenon of ‘fake news’, where audiences consume and share news stories on social media which are not factually correct. The US election represented a peak in the dissemination of fake news, but the problem still persists today, in part because fake news stories make controversial claims that generate ‘hits’ and ad revenue, thus creating a financial incentive to produce more fake news.

The worrying implication of fake news is that it promotes false beliefs among members of society, which could result in bad decisions being made because they are based on fiction rather than fact. Fortunately, computing experts believe that AI technology holds the key to combating the fake news phenomenon, especially through machine learning and natural language processing.

Machine learning

Natural language processing

But AI is not invincible

The dilemma of combating fake news may be analogous to blocking spam email. Over the years, new ways have been developed to block spam, but these have only resulted in new ways to get around the blocking, meaning that spam is here to stay, even if it’s not as prevalent as it once was. The same situation may end up being the case for fake news.



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