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Studies have shown that most people believe that they are "above average" in their ability to detect fake news - and they are wrong • In a future where agents of chaos spread false articles, we must think about how we will deal with the issue

We all do it:

see something online that excites or upsets us, and share it with friends.

We have also all come across "news" that later turned out to be false or a fake, a deliberate deception.

Studies have shown that most people believe they are "above average" in their ability to detect fake news - and they are wrong.

So how do we still manage to separate truth from fiction?

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The most basic way is to check some sources or consult with friends who understand, but this already requires a lot of time and energy.

Even worse, the dynamics of the web encourage us to be the "first to share" to gain followers and comments.

Most of us hardly bother to look at "old" news from a day ago, so we decide according to how much it "feels right to us".

A significant part of the feeling comes from the style: is it written in a professional manner, in an appropriate style and using words and expressions that we are used to?

Generative AI is changing the rules of the game for the worse.

From now on, after a short training, anyone (almost) can produce a news or scientific article in the style of official news websites, even if it is a language they barely speak.

A person in Indonesia or Russia, for example, can prepare a news story about the war in Ukraine - which will also include convincing images of an event that never happened.

This is something that actually happened.

Forces of the Ukrainian army shell the city of Bakhmut (archive), photo: AFP

Moreover, it is possible to imagine that in the not too distant future an automatic system will be able to pull from the web any news or article that is published and change it to a different meaning, even the opposite of the original, all while maintaining a style and a vocabulary that exactly matches the content.

You can remember the time of the outbreak of the corona virus, when we were looking for news and summaries about medical findings that were often contradictory or unclear anyway.

What will our dealings look like in a future where agents of chaos distribute false articles, at the very time when the research papers are published?

Who will examine the fake news of the social networks?

(illustration), photo: Reuters

The solution: trust

It is appropriate to start dealing with this problem even before it erupts in full force.

One option is regulation, but how can regulation be implemented when it does not have worldwide effect simultaneously?

What prevents those hackers, who are currently spreading viruses and spies from all kinds of towns in dictatorial countries, to also spread a mass of fake information that is automatically produced so that it looks like it came from reliable sources?

In the opinion of the undersigned above, the comprehensive solution lies in the same mechanism that humans have used since the dawn of history: the key to trust in information is trust in the distributor or sender of the information.

If the source is known and verified, there is a much higher chance that the information is reliable.

It is likely that in the future every source - from a private person's Facebook page to a news network - will undergo sample tests of its credibility and will be rated accordingly.

But who exactly will guard the ranks?

Who will prevent fakes or fakes there?

Not an easy question.

We should start thinking about her soon.

The author is the CEO of NEC's research laboratories in Israel

Will they spread a mass of fake news?

Hacker (illustration), photo: Reuters

were we wrong

We will fix it!

If you found an error in the article, we would appreciate it if you shared it with us

Source: israelhayom

All tech articles on 2023-02-22

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