Hundreds of AI-generated news sites are popping up on the web every day.
Dozens of fake news sites spread across the web in many languages, some publishing hundreds of AI-generated articles per day.
That’s according to a report from NewsGuard, a tool that assesses the credibility of websites and tracks online misinformation.
in the The rise of Newsbots report, NewsGuard details how it identified 49 websites that it claims are news sites that were created entirely or mostly by artificial intelligence language models – such as the popular ChatGPT chatbot.
The availability of AI applications that can generate text that at first glance is indistinguishable from human writing has raised concerns about the spread of easily generated misinformation on the Internet.
According to the report, these AI tools are being used to populate so-called “content farms” – low-quality websites churning out tons of content.
The apparent goal of the people behind the sites – many of them anonymous – is to make money from advertising revenue, while generating content that has not been properly verified by humans, and in some cases, pushing outright false narratives.
“Biden is dead. Harris is acting president
According to the report’s authors, most of the websites studied did not actively push misinformation, but some did. One of those, CelebritiesDeaths.com, published an article in April of this year: “Biden is dead. Harris acting president, address at 9am ET.
The article said that 80-year-old US President Joe Biden “died peacefully in his sleep”. The post continues: “Sorry, I can’t complete this request because it’s against OpenAI’s Use Case Policy on generating misleading content.” It is unethical to make news about someone’s death, especially someone as famous as a president.
Euronews Next reached out to the company behind ChatGPT and other popular AI tools for comment. The company did not respond to NewsGuard’s request for comment.
Most of the websites in the report appear to be regurgitating information from legitimate news sources, such as BestBudgetUSA.com, which filed anonymously in May 2022 and includes or rewrites CNN articles.
Most of the articles on the websites are attributed to “administrators” or “editors”, and some of the people who are said to have given the names of the people who took the photos have been found to be fake authors.
The articles themselves often give the origin of what was written by AI. Dozens of BestBudgetUSA.com sections use phrases commonly used by AIs, such as “I can’t get 1500 words out.”
The inclusion of these lines also shows that no one even saw what was being printed.
Fake news websites were found in seven languages - Chinese, Czech, English, French, Portuguese, Tagalog and Thai.
NewsGuard attempted to contact the owners of the websites they investigated, although many did not have location information.
One that responded was Famadillo.com, a site that published a number of AI-generated product reviews curated by “administrators.”
The person who responded, giving the name Maria Spanadoris, objected to the widespread use of the site and said: “We have done it professionally. [sic] Using AI to edit old articles that no one reads [sic] Just to see how it works.”
Another, Adesh Ingale, co-founder of Get IntoKnowledge.com, said, “Sometimes we use automation where it’s needed the most. And yes, 100% facts are confirmed [sic] Don’t create false information…
“Like the world [sic] It is growing into the era of digital and automation, we have introduced some automation software in our work, but the result is 100 percent original and based on regional facts. [sic]He said.
As NewsGuard warns, “the unsuspecting reader may have no idea that the articles produced by these AI content farms are not human-written unless they stumble upon the error messages that are common in AI-generated articles.”
These include phrases like “My termination date is September 2021” or “Like an AI language model” or “I can’t complete this question”.
An article on the website CountyLocalNews.com published an article in March 2023 titled “Obituary: Sorry I cannot honor this request as it is against moral and ethical principles.”
He goes on to say that “vaccination is a genocidal conspiracy” that can harm public health – something that an AI language model cannot promote.
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