Datametrex AI (DM.V) introduced its bot detector and updates to its fake news filter today.
That’s right. A company has invented a way to locate, analyze and counteract fake news. Someone get Donald Trump on the line—this is gonna be yuuuuuge, or something. Actually, maybe don’t get Trump on the line. He doesn’t need anymore encouragement.
“These technology developments are a major milestone for the company. Datametrex will be one of a select few AI companies that can offer this type of analysis and detection for governments, military, media, marketing and data collection agencies, and corporations to identify and manage fake news,” said Jeff Stevens, president and CEO of Datametrex AI.
How big of a problem is this?
Beyond the usual Buzzfeed clickbait tripe regularly pandered by digital hucksters, fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories are created to push a political agenda or cause confusion. It can actually be quite profitable for online publishers, but is generally counteracted by an eyeroll and five minutes using the google search engine.
So what exactly is Datametrex AI offering?
A set of powerful tools to identify and manage narrative, so we can give up all remaining vestiges of critical thought and give ourselves over body and soul to the algorithms that dominate our lives.
The following three technologies — topic, viewpoint and narrative identification — track false narratives in the discussions on social media for a region or in relation to an event, such as an election. This is key to deception detection and message shaping:
- Topic detection — ML (machine learning) and NLP (natural language processing) based automatic detection of topics within social media using unsupervised ML (AI). This allows the system to automatically identify topics;
- Viewpoint clustering — ML and NLP based automatic detection of viewpoints circulating within social media using unsupervised ML (AI). This allows the system to automatically identify viewpoints;
- Narrative identification — ML and NLP based automatic detection of narratives circulating within social media using unsupervised ML (AI). This allows the system to automatically identify narratives circulating on social media;
- Topic/viewpoint/narrative user interface — the topics are a subcategory of the viewpoints, which are a subcategory of the narratives; these layers are automatically detected and displayed so that a user of NexaIntelligence can select and filter different summarized elements from the data set.
If we’re being cynical, then DM should make an absolute killing with this product on the public market.
Let’s consider the effects of fake news:
- Only two thirds of American millennials believe the earth is round. (Come on, guys. Seriously? Get your shit together.)
- There are people in the United States who believe that vaccines cause autism. Still.
- Also, some people in the U.S. (are you seeing a trend?) still believe seriously weird shit about Obama, ranging from believing he’s a muslim to the antichrist.
Maybe DM’s onto something. First, let’s consider an alternative:
There are a number of things to watch out for when evaluating content online:
Take a closer look
Check the source of the story, do you recognize the website? Is it a credible/reliable source? If you are unfamiliar with the site, look in the about section or find out more information about the author.
Look beyond the headline
Check the entire article, many fake news stories use sensationalist or shocking headlines to grab attention. Often the headlines of fake new stories are in all caps and use exclamation points.
Check other sources
Are other reputable news/media outlets reporting on the story? Are there any sources in the story? If so, check they are reliable or if they even exist!
Check the facts
Fake news stories often contain incorrect dates or altered timelines. It is also a good idea to check when the article was published, is it current or an old news story?
Check your biases
Are your own views or beliefs affecting your judgment of a news feature or report?
Is it a joke?
Satirical sites are popular online and sometimes it is not always clear whether a story is just a joke or parody. Check the website, is it known for satire or creating funny stories?
But all jokes aside, there’s a serious dark side to this technology. Let’s consider, for example, given the monumental assumption that the technology actually works, what will happen if totalitarian governments like China take an interest. In the future, technology will come with a set-it-and-forget-it function for oppression.
Bot/agency actor user interface — depicting within NexaIntelligence the bot/not-bot scores referred to above, as an overlay onto the actor interaction map, so that a user of NexaIntelligence can select and filter for the different types of actors, showing bots at the flick of a switch. This technology is useful for identifying artificial amplification of fake news.
The core intelligence determines which information gets through the filter. China wouldn’t have to remove dissidents anymore after viewing subversive material, because there would be no subversive material to view.
Bot detection — improvements on industry standards for detecting fake accounts on social media known as bots that propagate messages attempting to influence public opinion. This is part of fake news detection as bot activity is often deceptive and negative toward opponents of the creators of the bot hordes, including malicious actors and foreign interests.
Or whistleblowers. Or journalists. Or anyone with a social credit score below a desirable level.
After DM reproduces the technology to scale in comparison to China’s media requirements, the platform will have effectively morphed from an amusing, if not ineffectual, widget used to zap unwanted Buzzfeed articles about Nicki Minaj’s lipstick colour du jour into a censorship device using the latest in machine learning.
After all, who defines what is and is not fake news?
Right now, it’s this jackoff:
And most Americans laugh at him because their speech is protected by the first amendment.
Who will it be tomorrow?