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The Imposition of Robot News

AI programs author news coverage across public and social media, many of them presented in the forms of news feeds based on the reader's location and personal preference. According to Arun Vishwanath, a Harvard University professor, “we will be presented with the version of the news we wish to read -- not the news that some reporter, columnist or editorial board decides we need to read. And it will be entirely written by artificial intelligence (AI).” The imposition of robot news becomes even more imposing because mindless readers tend to trust those news feeds on Facebook and Google News more than the credible, accountable, validated news sources, which also employ machine-learning algorithms to match us with news and ads.

As a result of the manipulation or imposition of what happens in the world, news reports will be influenced or directed by AI to formulate varied arguments and conclusions based on published opinions, not real facts. People’s social media data, online shopping and browsing history will drive AI to present them with the news they would like to read. With such interference, a person’s bias and ideology will be further reinforced and fortified to the extent that one may wonder whether individual journalism or independent perception of realities will be even possible.

For example, for a reader with strong views on gun control, news of gun violence and casualty might be presented from a certain standpoint where easy access of assault weapons leads to conclusions about how all purchase of guns can hurt the society. It will be a different story for another who seeks to preserve the Second Amendment rights of the people to keep and bear arms as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. Other issues rather than gun regulations, such as mental healthcare or home environments, will be presented with data and conclusions questioning the validity of banning guns.

When the personalized, AI-driven reality is the only reality people experience, Professor Vishwanath worries that it will only project a “win-win for marketers, advertisers and readers -- but a giant loss for democracy as we know it, because it will take away the core of what makes democracies successful: well-informed citizens, who form opinions not by simply reading articles they agree with, but by examining that which they don't agree with -- and then finding common ground.” All this benefits the advertisers and marketing companies, placing ads on the AI news feeds and web pages. To divert from that result, policy-makers must proactively prevent AI domination, limiting the extent to which algorithms access data, whereas the media should use self-regulation, implement valid journalism, and provide varied versions of news content. Most importantly, readers need to read/think critically, and seek information that is both agreeable and disagreeable, from online and offline formats, and thus formulate more informed views.


AI (Artificial Intelligence人工智能)程式在公共和社会媒体提交新闻报道,根据读者所在地理位置和个人喜好而呈现各种形式的新闻来迎合其胃口。 Arun Vishwanath ,一位哈佛大学的教授,针对此种操纵新闻的现象指出:“我们所阅读的新闻是符合本身意念的资料 -- 而不是真实的、由记者、专栏作家或编辑委员会决定人们需要阅读的消息。 此种资料将完全由人工智能实行机械分析运算程式而定制。”由于一般读者往往信任 Facebook 和 Google 新闻、而非负责任的、经过验证的新闻来源,人工智能将操纵并匹配我们所得的新闻和广告。

操纵世界大事或新闻消息的结果将导致新闻媒体全然受控于人工智能 ,进而根据大众喜好来制订各种不同的论点和结论,而非发布真正的事实。 人们的社会媒体数据、在线购物和浏览历史记录将驱动人工智能程式向他们提供符合其意愿的消息。人们的偏见和意识形态将会得到进一步的巩固和强化,使人不禁质疑独立客观的新闻或立场看法分析是否是可能的。

例如,对于一个极度反对枪支贩卖或支持枪支管制的读者来说,关于枪支暴力和人员伤亡事件的新闻报道可能导致其提出攻击武器贩卖、甚或所有枪支购买活动对于社会都将造成伤害的结论。 同一议题对另一谋求保持《人权法案》第二项修正案维护人们持有并携带武器的权力的社会人士来说,将呈现一个完全不同的分析解释方式,精神医疗保健或家庭环境议题将显示不同的数据和结论来质疑禁止所有枪支的可行性。

由人工智能驱动的个人化的现实成为人们所经验的唯一现实,Vishwanath 教授担忧地指出:这种情况会导致“行销、广告公司和盲目读者的绝对优势 -- 但对于民主社会来说则是一个巨大的损失。因为民主社会的成功因素乃在于客观公正而消息灵通的公民,他们所形成的意见不是简单地阅读自己同意的报道而来,而是通过检查、观察自己所不同意之论点分析、从而寻求共同点。”人工智能操纵报道仅仅有利于广告和营销公司,这些营利机构和个人将广告投放在新闻和网页以及各种出版管道,进而寻求私人的利益。 为了避免此种现象的产生,决策者必须积极主动地防止人工智能操纵新闻的现象、限制媒体管道或盈利机构分析及采用个人数据的程度,而媒体也需自律、实施有效的新闻报道方式、并提供不同版本的新闻内容。 最重要的是,读者必须慎重思考自己所阅读的资料并加强本身批判的能力,广泛阅读在线或书面之源于不同意识形态的消息来源,从而形成更明智的意见和看法。

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