New AI Tool to Weed Out Fake News
Wed, April 21, 2021

New AI Tool to Weed Out Fake News

While tech companies and social media sites have been trying to step up their efforts to combat the spread of fake news, users, particularly Americans, haven’t stopped sharing misinformation / Photo by: panuwat phimpha via Shutterstock

 

Artificial intelligence is growing every day at a furious rate. Market research firm Tractica projected that the global AI software market alone will experience massive growth in the coming years. The market’s revenues will increase to over $118.6 billion by 2025 from only $9.5 billion in 2018. The overall AI market includes a wide range of applications, including robotic process automation, natural language processing, and machine learning.

The report also showed that the growth of the global AI market in 2019 would increase by 154%. There is no doubt that AI could address the most pressing issues in our society, particularly fake news. Every minute, over 160 million emails are sent, 98,000 tweets are shared on Twitter, 600 videos are uploaded to YouTube, and 1,500 blog entries are created. With all these figures, it’s easier for fake news to enter the scene. 

While tech companies and social media sites have been trying to step up their efforts to combat the spread of fake news, users, particularly Americans, haven’t stopped sharing misinformation. A recent study by Pew Research Center revealed that US adults who turn to social media to get their news are more likely to share fake news compared to those who prefer conventional methods such as TV or newspapers. About 60% of the participants stated they had shared false information. 

According to CNET, the world's leader in tech product reviews, news, prices, videos, forums, how-tos and more, about two-thirds of Americans stated that they come across altered images or videos often. "While Americans want the issue of made-up news addressed, they are also conscious of the huge challenge posed by partisan divides in our country today – challenges that are pronounced in the level of blame members of each party place on the news media," Amy Mitchell, the center's director of journalism research, said. 

This is where AI comes in. Today, AI is being leveraged to find words or patterns of words that can throw light on fake news. False information can be identified by taking a cue from articles that were flagged as inaccurate by people in the past. AI has become a critical part of this issue because as the volume of data grows bigger by the day, handling misinformation can be a lot more difficult for humans.

AI Tool to Detect Disinformation With 92% Accuracy

Spreading misinformation across the social landscape is not just about accidental inaccuracies; it is more about intentional misinformation. Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Washington and Allen Institute introduced Grover (short for Generating aRticles by Only Viewing mEtadata Records), an algorithm that can analyze more aspects of a news article than other tools. These include the headline, author name, the body of the article, publication name, and other details that could indicate foul play.

According to What’s New in Publishing, an online site that provides a single destination for independent publishing businesses looking for news, advice, and education across a wide range of publishing subjects, the new AI tool can spot fake news with 92% accuracy. This is a significant improvement since the best accuracy rate for other similar detectors is 73%. “We find that best current discriminators can classify neural fake news from real, human-written, news with 73% accuracy, assuming access to a moderate level of training data. Counterintuitively, the best defense against Grover turns out to be Grover itself, with 92% accuracy,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

Grover can generate an entire news article written in the style of a legitimate news outlet. It was trained on a 120GB library of real news articles from the top 5,000 publications tracked by Google News. Thus, it’s not surprising that it can effectively spot fake content just by scanning how it was written. Also, the AI tool can be used for modeling potential threats from those who use AI to generate false misinformation. The researchers believe that a tool like Grover could be the best defense we have against a proliferation of AI-generated fake news.

Flagging Fake News for Media Fact-Checkers

This era of fake news has become a very challenging time for media organizations. They are responsible not only for creating accurate news but also ensuring that false information stops spreading. Recently, researchers from the University of Waterloo introduced a new AI tool that could help social media networks and news organizations weed out false stories. 

According to Tech Xplore, an online site that covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, the AI tool uses deep-learning algorithms capable of detecting fake news with 90% accuracy. It helps in determining if claims made in posts or stories are supported by other posts and stories on the same subject. The tool can correctly identify if they support it or not nine out of 10 times. This is a huge help for human fact-checkers at social media and news organizations. 

"It augments their capabilities and flags information that doesn't look quite right for verification. It isn't designed to replace people, but to help them fact-check faster and more reliably,” Alexander Wong, a founding member of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute, said. 

Lead author Chris Dulhanty stated that this AI tool is just one of the many efforts being made to mitigate the spread of disinformation. "We need to empower journalists to uncover the truth and keep us informed," he said. This also shows how AI can be leveraged to fight false information created by humans and AI itself. 

This era of fake news has become a very challenging time for media organizations. They are responsible not only for creating accurate news but also ensuring that false information stops spreading / Photo by: Gil C via Shutterstock