This AI generates fake news about anything you want. Try it!
There’s nothing funny about fake news, the sort of propaganda that’s designed to spread across social networks and create political chaos, especially as we enter a time when Artificial Intelligence can replace human writers and create infinite false articles.
And to demonstrate exactly how absurd the problem is, a new AI called Grover, developed by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Washington (and spotted by AI Weirdness), allows you to enter a headline, and it will generate hundreds of words of convincing, fake text that looks like it belongs in the New York Times or on CNN.
Technically, Grover is an AI model that has been developed to spot fake news written by machines—what is considered a minority of fake news at the moment, but bound to grow as automation improves. Trained on 120 gigabytes of real news articles, gathered from the 5,000 publications on Google News, it can tell a human-written story from a computer-written story with 73% accuracy. But to develop Grover, the researchers didn’t just teach it to spot (or what scientists call “discriminate”) fake news. They taught it to write (or “generate”) fake news. (Humans also scored Grover’s work, and rated it more trustworthy than human-written propaganda!)
Luckily for you, the researchers put Grover’s fake news generator online for anyone to try. And let me say, from personal experience, that it can create some doozies. For a test, I wrote the headline: “Why Donald Trump Eats 100 Cheeseburgers a Day.” This is an article that even I, a journalist, don’t know how I’d go about writing. It is, after all, a pure fiction. Grover, however, seems to relish the challenge:
“In an interview this year with Dr. Phil McGraw, the television host, Trump told his story of becoming a self-described ‘buffet freak’ after watching the Jamie Oliver-branded show Jamie’s Italian on TV. Oliver turned back that giddiness a few years later, accusing Trump of feeding his body ‘graham crackers’ and ‘pretzels’ rather than vegetables and fruit . . .
” . . . Another of Trump’s favorite diets: eating 100 cheeseburgers a day. He orders the crunchy, cheese-coated hot dogs on white buns from ‘America’s favorite fast food purveyor,’ Nathan’s Famous in New York City. Since Trump spent a very successful career in New York’s real estate world—an industry almost devoid of healthy alternatives—his companions have had to endure the food addiction. When Trump’s son, Donald Jr., would accompany him on fishing trips to Atlantic City, the pair would stop by Nathan’s twice a day.”
Yes, the story is terrif