Bhavin Turakhia is the founder and CEO of Flock.
News headlines today present us with the latest in artificial intelligence( AI ), machine learning and algorithms, which are sold as the antidote all solution to our problems. From antidote cancer or solving the ongoing question of climate change, to stopping the mass spread of fake news that can impact democracy and politics, these technologies are believed to be our golden ticket.
While AI, algorithm and machine learning can definitely have an impact, they are not advanced enough to offer final solution on their own. In fact, one approximation says that even the smartest AI is only as intelligent as a four-year-old.
Of all the challenges we face in 2017 and beyond, fake news must really made its space to the top of the list. Not simply is it said to have changed the outcome of U.S. politics, it has also, in appearance at least, disrupted leaders of some of “the worlds” largest corporations and news organisations Facebook, AP and CNN included.
Can technology solve this issue head-on? In short, my reply is no. Fake news is too big of a number of problems for engineering to solve in a silo. Technology will play a role in the fake news fight, but ultimately, humans created fake news, and it will take human intervention to stop it.
Dont be deceived.Fake news is common and famously started the Spanish-American War( thank you William Randolph Hearst for that one ). For decades, nations have combated the effects propaganda has on their political systems and populaces. Today, of course, Facebook and other free social platforms make it easier for individuals and coordinated groups to spread misinformation and fakery to instigate upheaval.
The web itself( and cheap domain-name registry and hosting) make it convenient for anyone to fake it and spread false information. Locates like www.usatoday.com.co( a spoof of www.usatoday.com) or www.washingtonpost.com.co( an imposter to www.washingtonpost.com ), can be up and running with little more than a charge card and a free content platform.
It is no wonder the U.S. general elections was heavily influenced by the mass sharing of mislead and false news articles in this same behaviour. Based on reports from BuzzFeed, The Guardian and even The New York Times, the impact of fake news was seemed most harshly because it was a long time going and will have ongoing repercussions.
With a developing list of more than 600 demonstrated fake news areas, it is clear to see why readers may have a hard time distilling fake news from fact. Even as recently as this January, we heard about Cameron Harris, a right-wing lone-operator, who wrote fake news to make a living. To throw his narrative in view, although Harris reportedly gave $5,000 per fake news story, his actions were to not only to pay his bills but to discount the Democratic Party.
Similar stories from abroad include Macedonian adolescents who grew thousands of dollars to profit by spreading fake news and alleged Russian propaganda campaigns created to damage the reputation of recent presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, help President Trumps reputation and undercut the American republic. While certainly morally questionable, the action of writing and spreading fake news technically persists legal. With all this in play, its difficult to believe that in the immediate the consequences of the U.S. election, internet giants like Facebook and Google not only denied it being an issue, but also any responsibility for its impact.
What solutions exist and what can we do about it?
With brand-new experiment available on the sociopolitical effects of fake news, the likes of Google and Facebook took initial steps to stop fake news in its tracks. Google is censoring websites and dealers spreading fake news, as well as placing to limit Google Ads; Facebook is applying a series of tiny targeted updates to change how fake news is spread across its site.
Enterprises likewise are applying fakenews filters and detectors into their platforms and software systems to impede the spread of fake news in corporate surroundings. Team messaging, however, even within large-hearted multi-billion-dollar corporations, do not ever insist on the proper protocols and safeguards within their technical solutions.
The outlook seems grim if these tech giants are only able to impact the tip-off of the fake news iceberg. That supposed, there are many more tools and solutions attempting to address the issue by using automation and algorithm to fact check, machine and deep study to detect trolls, micro aggressions and insults and, finally, AI to stamp out fake news and detect violence in live videos.
While these solutions render surface-level the answers to this intricacies surrounding fake news, it would be necessary to to add a human element. The 600 fake news locates has already been pointed out were compiled and vetted not by machines, but by humans; while they can be integrated into news and social platforms with the help of technology, humans must be involved in this process.
No end in sight
There is not likely going to be an end anytime soon to the problem of fake news or the potential threat it poses to the livelihood of people, governments and firms as a whole. But by recognizing that machines alone are not going to win this war without the draft guidelines of humans, we will be able to change its level of wallop, and this is an important and necessary first step.