Droidward and Botstein can’t do it all, but AI-enhanced journalism offers a glimpse of the next knowledge economy


This post is by Nicholas Diakopoulos from Nieman Lab


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Much as robots have transformed entire swaths of the manufacturing economy, artificial intelligence and automation are now changing information work, letting humans offload cognitive labor to computers. In journalism, for instance, data mining systems alert reporters to potential news stories, while newsbots offer new ways for audiences to explore information. Automated writing systems generate financial, sports and elections coverage. A common question as these intelligent technologies infiltrate various industries is how work and labor will be affected. In this case, who — or what — will do journalism in this AI-enhanced and automated world, and how will they do it? The evidence I’ve assembled in my new book Automating the New: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media suggests that the future of AI-enabled journalism will still have plenty of people around. However, the jobs, roles, and tasks of those people will evolve and look a bit different. Human work
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Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity


This post is by Nicholas Diakopoulos from Nieman Lab


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Collective euphoria turned to harsh reality for social media in 2017. Propaganda campaigns came to light. Bot armies continued to bully, intimidate, and harass. Warehouses of trolls pushed political agendas. Public-comment processes were polluted. Manipulating attention has never been easier. The key weakness of social media — an inability to ensure the authenticity of communication and interaction — will continue to be exploited in 2018. And it’s going to get a lot worse. Artificial neural networks are advancing rapidly in their ability to synthesize content — including images, videos, and texts — that are increasingly indistinguishable from authentic content. Just look at the results of state-of-the-art face synthesis here. Phony Yelp reviews that read as legitimate opinion can be algorithmically generated at scale too. These technologies enable believable social posts and profiles to be automatically synthesized whole cloth, essentially “imagined” by neural networks, and they will overrun legitimate speech online. Continue reading "Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity"