Fake and Hype: at the “Open Innovations” Forum, the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Modern Communications was Discussed


On the first day of the Open Innovations 2020 Forum, RVC organized a session called “Fake and Hype. Information Hoax. Artificial Intelligence versus the Fake Factory”. The moderator was Ekaterina Kumanina, Director for Strategic Communications of RVC.

The speakers discussed how artificial intelligence technologies could help fight against fake news, whether robots can replace journalists and who is accountable for disseminating false information.

The discussion was opened by Nick Gowing, the founder of Thinking the Unthinkable, who defined fake news and recommended that journalists pay more attention to fact-checking. He noted that it is challenging to combat false information today despite all people and artificial intelligence efforts.

“Fake news” is not just misinformation; it is a misrepresentation of data. The world is changing, and we are losing control of information. Do you need external fact-checking using algorithms? Artificial intelligence is not 100% guaranteed. A machine may be more accurate, but it will not search for the truth the way a person can. And the most important thing is that only a person can determine how the received information will be presented,” said the expert.

Yuri Saprykin, the head of the Shelf project, noted how quickly information is spreading in the digital environment today and its consequences.

“Fake news can elicit a strong emotional reaction that makes a person share the news very quickly without checking the original information. We all generate news for each other, we are all experts for each other, and therefore we all equally trust each other and do not quite trust each other. The skills of a basic distrust of all sources of information should help. Still, the environment in which news is created today was formed by historical standards quite recently, and we, as humanity, have not yet learned the rules of handling it,” Yuri Saprykin said.

Noam Lemelstrich Latar, Head of the Innovation Center of the Graduate School of Communications and Journalism named after Sami Opera in Merkaz Beintkhumi, assessed the prospects for the impact of artificial intelligence on media and journalism. He noted that today it is essential to restore trust to official sources of information.

“Artificial intelligence is already taking over many jobs. Algorithms can do the same work as humans, but faster and in larger volumes. Journalism, however, is much more than a search for information. It is about creativity. A journalist robot cannot win the Nobel Prize for journalism. AI is changing the media, but it cannot help determine the integrity of information. The journalists' objective is to educate their audience, write in such a way that people are more suspicious and try to turn to more reliable sources,” the expert noted.

According to Ilya Kalagin, the head of the ITECO Center for Cognitive Technologies, artificial intelligence helps collect, analyze, and process data. However, at the same time, any technology is created by man, so their work depends on people.

“For the next decades, we will be talking about the weakness of AI because people provide data for the web. But artificial intelligence and automation will help journalists solve many problems more efficiently,” Ilya Kalagin said.

As part of the discussion, an online vote was held, during which the viewers of the session answered the question to whom they were ready to entrust the identification of fake news. The voting results showed that 35% of people are willing to trust artificial intelligence; 32% make decisions independently; 29% trust fact-checking only to professional journalists. Only 3% believe the information received from friends on social networks.

At the end of the discussion, Ekaterina Kumanina noted that the responsibility for the truthfulness of information remains with a person, regardless of what technologies we use:

“Journalism must survive, and true media must remain the backbone of our information flow. At the same time, new technologies, artificial intelligence are a necessary tool for media to develop.”

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