Yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pled his case on his stance on free speech at Georgetown University, where he tried to justify his decision to not regulate the content of political speech on Facebook.
Shockingly, Facebook says that they will allow campaign ads that contain false information, but they will remove them for having other aspects that go against their ad policies, like the use of fake buttons. He claimed that regulating political speech is a slippery slope that could lead to reduced speech rights and that the public has a right to see these false ads and navigate this discourse uninhibited.
This only serves to feed the fake news epidemic. With the rise in AI technology, this can be especially detrimental to our society. Although we have some ability to hinder the spread of fake news, a lot of the control rests with our service providers, and now potentially AI.
If you’re new to this topic, let me get the most shocking news out there right away: some of the articles you’re reading online to get your news have been written by AI technology, NOT a journalist.
While one might think that letting a machine do the work of writing these stories would make them more accurate like solving a math problem on a calculator does, this is not always the case. AI is only as good as the information we give it, and this is still controlled by humans which leaves room for biases to make their way in once again.
Despite this, AI can also be used to fact-check articles and identify machine-generated text, which was looked at in a recent study because many fake news stories are made by these machines so that they can be easily spread on social media. With social media outlets refusing to do these things for us where political speech is involved, this technology could be invaluable.
How do you feel about AI in journalism? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Should our social media platforms be using it to fight fake news or continue to let it exist? If it isn’t their job to regulate this speech and stop the spread of false information, where does the responsibility lie?