AI-Generated News Sites More Than Double In Two Weeks

Just weeks after benchmarking the number of AI-generated news and information sites at 49, NewsGuard has updated the figure to 125 -- a 155% increase, according to a new report published by the news and information ratings service.

"The number of AI-generated content farms continues to proliferate," NewsGuard states, adding a new classification of "unreliable AI-generated news site," or UAIN to the lexicon of questionable news and information content being tracked by the service.

Importantly, NewsGuard identifies the economic motive for the rapidly evolving category as "seeking ad dollars" with generic-sounding news names, and said they already are publishing in at least ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Tagalog and Thai. 



"These newly identified websites have churned out dozens and sometimes hundreds of clickbait, poorly written articles," NewsGuard notes, adding: "These sometimes include false claims, such as celebrity death hoaxes, fabricated events, and articles presenting old events as if they just occurred. These sites are seemingly designed to optimize programmatic advertising revenue through advertising placed by ad tech firms. The operators of these sites select generic names for them such as iBusiness Day, Ireland Top News, and Daily Time Update, making them appear to publish traditionally created and edited journalism, and cover a range of subjects including politics, technology, entertainment, and travel."

“The opaque programmatic advertising industry has invited this new wave of using AI to generate page views to attract ad revenues,” NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz says in a statement issued with the update, noting: “Brands, ad agencies and ad tech companies are now unintentionally funding these AI operations, encouraging the creation of websites masquerading as reliable journalism.”

To be labeled UAIN, a news/information site must meet all four of NewsGuard's criteria, which include:

  • There is clear evidence that a substantial portion of the site’s content is produced by AI.
  • Equally important, there is strong evidence that the content is being published without significant human oversight. For example, numerous articles might contain error messages or other language specific to chatbot responses, indicating that the content was produced by AI tools without adequate editing. (It is likely that now or in the future many news sites will use AI tools but also deploy effective human oversight; they will not be considered UAINs.)
  • The site is presented in a way that an average reader could assume that its content is produced by human writers or journalists, because the site has a layout, generic or benign name, or other content typical to news and information website.
  • The site does not clearly disclose that its content is produced by AI.

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