MSN Fired Its Human Journalists and Replaced Them With AI That Publishes Fake News About Mermaids and Bigfoot
Comment of the Day

December 13 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

MSN Fired Its Human Journalists and Replaced Them With AI That Publishes Fake News About Mermaids and Bigfoot

This article for Futurism may be of interest. Here is a section:

"I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am," one fired MSN staffer told The Guardian at the time. "AI has taken my job."

That anonymous staffer imparted a prescient warning: that though the human team had employed close editorial guidelines to vet the material that appeared on MSN's site, the new automated system would likely struggle to bring the same level of nuance and skepticism.

MSN makes lofty promises that there's still "human oversight" over the stories it syndicates, but given the desultory deluge of fake nonsense it appears to run constantly, it seems very unlikely that the site's remaining skeleton crew is accomplishing much at all.

And with its dwindling human staff, fewer still are left to hear readers' concerns, effectively erecting a brick wall that imposes a worrying opacity. Requests for comments go unanswered, and MSN publishes more bogus stories all the time.

Eoin Treacy's view

The media coverage of ChatGP has been nothing short of euphoric. I’ve even heard it compared to a sputnik moment for artificial intelligence. That might even be true but it does not mean AI is ready to take over editorial roles.

AI is excellent at performing deterministic functions that come with a clear unchanging set of instructions. That puts AI in the same basket as an advanced Excel macro.

Where AI runs into trouble is when the quality of the data it is basing its assumptions on is faulty. The internet does not have a moderator. There is a temptation to think that wisdom of the crowd is greater than the sum of its parts but that is simply not true. Any practitioner of technical analysis is aware of that fallacy.

Can AI make me a better writer? Could it write better dialogue for a short story? Will it take over the task of mundane form filling? The answer to all of this is quite possibly yes.

Will it give a balanced view of nuanced arguments when the inputs are unreliable and open to bias? That’s a challenge for even the most gifted of humans so the answer has to be no for now. 

Perhaps more importantly, this news increases the potential for strictly regulation of AI which could put the brakes of wider rollout.
Microsoft is currently pausing in the region of the 200-day MA and remains in a medium-term downtrend.

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