Fake News, or Just Satire? AI Can Tell the Difference

Research finds that satire typically contains more sophisticated language than actual fake news. And now, AI can tell the difference, too.

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Fake News, or Just Satire? AI Can Tell the Difference

We recently told you about AI that can detect and respond to emotions. Apparently, it can also tell the difference between news satire and fake news.

Researchers at George Washington University, Amazon AWS AI, and a tech startup have put some effort into a machine learning system which can spot and sort speech, differentiating between something that’s meant as satire/sarcasm and something that’s inherently misleading.

According to a recent VentureBeat article:

Their work follows that of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), which earlier this year architected an AI model that could determine whether a source is accurate or politically prejudiced. In subsequent work, MIT CSAIL used one of the world’s largest fact-checking data sets to develop automated systems that could detect false statements.

The paper’s coauthors note that efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation have occasionally resulted in the flagging of legitimate satire, particularly on social media. Complicating matters, some fake news purveyors have begun masquerading as satire sites.

These developments of course threaten the business of legitimate publishers, which might struggle to monetize their satire, but also they affect the experience of consumers, who could miss out on miscategorized content.

The researchers used a data set of text statistics which referred to overlap in key words and words between sentences, along with a few other variables.

Their research ultimately found that satire tends to contain more sophisticated, less easy-to-read content than fake news articles do.

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So there you have it, disseminators of maliciously-false content: all you have to do to make your fake news come off more realistic is boost your vocabulary!