I was reading the other day about AI being used to create fake images and videos that were so real people wouldn’t be able to tell they were fakes. For instance, it can create fake people (this article from The Verge), or even fake events (the University of Washington project described in this engadget article and another Verge article). And creating fake reviews on Yelp (only a step away from making up news stories as well) seems pretty easy for AI (as in this Scientific American article).
But what about using AI to spot fakes—fake photos, videos, fake news?
Many of these same articles point to the fact that AI can be used to spot as well as produce fakes. However, the machine-learning algorithms used by Yelp to detect fake reviews had a hard time figuring out which AI-generated reviews were fake (as did humans). Fox News (of all things) has an article that’s a little more hopeful (“How AI fights the war against fake news”), in which various means of detecting false news are described, such as semantic processing (finding typically used keywords for fake or sensationalist stories) and rating sites as more or less trustworthy. (Amusingly, this Fox story is interspersed with headlines for the usual “AI-as-Michael-Myers” stories, with such phrases as “save humanity” and “killer robots.”) But, at best, it seems we are in for a fake news arms race in which good and evil AI try to outsmart one another.
I have a feeling that combinations of data-driven, deep-learning AI and elements of “more human” AI (such as personality and emotion engines) will end up being the best tools in this fight—but probably for both sides. Deep learning can take massive amounts of data and find patterns in it, and thus can train for finding fake news by comparing it to other fake news (to oversimplify). The personality and emotion engines can tap into the human element (for instance, how fake news makes people react emotionally, or how it makes people with certain personalities react differently than others). And both kinds of AI can work tirelessly at their task.
Which is something that humans, for all their intuition, cannot do.