There is no denying the fact that artificial intelligence is being looked upon as a tool to revolutionize industries around the world. However, with pros, the cons are not too far behind, which sometimes are closer than we think.
A recent report by NewsGuard, a monitoring tool which rates news sources for authenticity and combats misinformation online, revealed how several news websites were using artificial intelligence to generate articles.
In April 2023, a team of journalists found 49 news and information sites that were using AI for content farming. The sites generated 100s of articles a day that were either not monitored or had misinformation.
The research also found that the articles had fraudulent bylines of authors who were neither writers nor associated with the article.
AI content farm, Newsbots and Misinformation
During the research, it was found that the websites were generating high volume of content around topics related to technology, entertainment, politics, health, and more, many of which were detected to have misinformation or a false narrative.
These articles were rewritten and summarized from other sources. BestBudgetUSA.com, which did have any information about its ownership, was found to be reworking and rewording articles from CNN.
Moreover, the websites, which spanned over seven languages including Chinese, Czech, English, French, Portuguese, Tagalog, and Thai, had repetitive content and seemed to be entirely generated by artificial intelligence language models attempting to mimic human communication.
The report also revealed that most of the AI driven websites were using generic names in an attempt to associate themselves with established publishers such as Biz Breaking News, News Live 79, Daily Business Post, and Market News Reports.
Owners of AI content farming websites
Upon finding these AI driven websites, the NewsGuard team began emailing the websites. Of the 29 websites that were contacted, 17 companies did not respond, two companies did not address the concerns expressed in the email, and 8 companies provided invalid email addresses.
Only two of the companies accepted that they use AI for content.
Among the limited response the NewsGuard team received from the websites generating AI content, Adesh Ingale, the founder of of GetIntoKnowledge.com said, “We use automation at some points where they are extremely needed. And yes they are 100% facts checked so that no false information is created…”
As a world is growing towards digital and automation era we have introduced some automation softwares in our work but the results getting out of it are 100% original and regional facts based.”
Factors to look out for with sites using AI for content farming
The purpose of creating such an AI content farm is evidently to profit from advertising revenue with clickbait articles perfected for search results. The AI-generated content was found using keyword searches for phrases that are often associated with AI chatbots.
While some websites had zero followers on social media, others had a sizeable readership both on the website and social media handles.
The website, ScoopEarth.com, the team noted, publishes “formulaic biographies about celebrities, organized into sections focused on their early life, relationship status, and “net worth,”, had over 124,000 followers whereas, FilthyLucre.com, which was found posting articles on finance and income opportunities, is able to function on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages with zero followers.