Fake News Challenge Intensifies, Can AI Put It To An End?

Startups are developing new algorithms and leading tech giants have been acquiring startups that could help them to resolve the fake news issue.

Fake News Challenge Intensifies, Can AI Put It To An End
New AI Algorithms Heading Toward Countering Fake News, Efficacy In Question

Fake news prompted tech companies to take necessary measures to prevent its spread on their platforms. The fake news worm has been influential in leading people astray. The investigation of fake news impacting results of 2016 presidential elections in the U.S. is ongoing. Fake news and misleading information campaigns have been implemented through advertising on social media platforms. Fake content has been rolled out widely in the fast paced and competitive world as people are more prone to believe the content without digging the truth. Congress has been asking questions to leading social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google about countermeasures taken to tackle fake news.

One of the significant measures taken to tackle fake news and misinformation is deployment of artificial intelligence (AI). Companies have been endeavoring to deploy various AI algorithms to spot and eliminate fake news from their platforms. However, there are many challenges in determining fake news such as checking facts and defining what would be termed as ‘fake’ or misleading information. The Fake News Challenge was launched at the end of 2017 by an AI community with an aim to encourage development of tools to counter fake news and misleading content.

Startups are developing new algorithms and leading tech giants have been acquiring startups that could help them to resolve the fake news issue. AdVerif.ai, a startup which designed AI algorithm with the same name, detects fake news, malware, and other misleading content. The beta version of the software was launched in November 2017. AdVerif.ai checks the content for signs such as headlines not being in context with body text, too many capital letters in the headline, and others. Moreover, it checks each story or article and compares with the database of fake news updated every week. The client could see the report for every story to determine whether it is a fake news, malware, or misleading content.

This software has been utilized by number of companies from the U.S. and Europe to tackle false, misleading, and offensive stories. Though common people do not verify the content they read or videos they watch extensively, hosting and advertising companies could lose their credibility if a fake news or misleading information is spread on their platform. Some changes in their services and implementation of AI algorithms would help them in avoiding circulation of fake stories.

AdVerif.ai is not the only firm offering AI-powered software to companies to spot fake news. Cybersecurity firms have started development of software with AI capabilities to help tech companies. Google has partnered with a fact-checking site to counter fake news. Moreover, Facebook decided to change algorithms for its newsfeed to ensure misleading information does not spread.

There are many challenges in developing AI to detect fake news. One of the most efficient approach is to take a story and determine what other sites have been saying about the topic discussed in the story. This saves time of human fact checkers by relying on stories on other websites to validate the current story, instead of checking individual stories.

It is suspected that though AI algorithms could spot fake stories, there may be algorithms deployed to counter these AI algorithms. In addition, AI would create fake news along with videos and images that would not be detected by AI algorithms. In coming years, the trust in digital information would change with deployment of AIs. The reliance on technology would be reduced and human acumen needs to be used.


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