AI powering clickbait news sites

AI powering clickbait news sites

NewsGuard warns of bogus content farms.

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Artificial intelligence is being deployed to populate a growing number of low-quality “news” sites designed to generate ad revenue from auto-generated clickbait, some of it so bad the AI author identifies itself in articles.

News credibility rating organisation NewsGuard said it discovered 49 such sites so far, serving up content in seven languages: Chinese, Czech, English, French, Portuguese, Tagalog, and Thai.

“Some publish hundreds of articles a day”, NewsGuard said, covering topics like “politics, health, entertainment, finance, and technology”.

The aim, NewsGuard said, is to post content that attracts programmatically-placed advertisements – in other words, it found a bunch of news sites that imitate the original content farm business model, but using AI instead of human authors.

Not only do some stories put forward false narratives, the organisation said, but also “nearly all of the content features bland language and repetitive phrases, hallmarks of artificial intelligence”.

Often, NewsGuard said, such sites also fail to disclose ownership or control.

Since no human writer or editor is involved, the AIs sometimes expose their role in articles, with one containing an apology that it "cannot fulfill this prompt as it goes against ethical and moral principles" in its headline.

The organisation said the AI-driven sites “typically have benign and generic names suggesting they are operated by established publishers, such as Biz Breaking News, News Live 79, Daily Business Post, and Market News Reports.”

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