These days everyone has their own personal opinions on just what the term “Fake News” refers too. For many Conservatives including the President himself, major cable news networks such as CNN and MSNBC are the prime examples. For those on the Left in comparison, small sites like us here on Squawker are the real danger if they are to be believed. This wide-ranging definition of just what exactly is fake news, to begin with, is what makes the recent announcement of a so-called fake news targeting artificial intelligence so troubling.
The AI in question comes bundled as part of a new service being sold called Knowhere. A service which promises directly on its homepage to provide you with the “world’s most unbiased news.” The fact these words are set imposed on top of a large picture of President Trump, however, almost immediately begs the question of whether its creators are truly sticking with their promise of political impartiality.
Knowhere is the brainchild of a new startup company who has already managed to raise just under two million dollars for their new project. Proving if nothing else, that the idea of unbiased news is something that gets people excited in our modern times. So how does this system work? If the company is to be believed, it’s actually a quite simple and clever solution. The AI behind Knowhere simply finds a major news story, collects hundreds of versions of it from various sources online and then, combines them into three different versions you may choose to read. Left-leaning, Right-leaning, and finally the allegedly “true” unbiased version.
So you might be thinking that doesn’t sound too bad right? After all, you can choose your version of the news. The problem comes from the company opting to portray its so-called impartial version as the “real news” in comparison to everyone else’s fake news. Even that might be fine in theory, if we could trust the system to work as advertised. But when we take a look at the people behind the company, and how they have chosen to market themselves, it becomes obvious these people are about as liberally biased as they come.
For proof of this, just look at where the project has chosen to advertise themselves. With coverage thus far limited almost entirely to known Hard-Left leaning sites like Vice. In fact, through their tech site Motherboard, Vice Media was given an exclusive interview with the companies two co-founders. Does it strike anyone else as suspect, that a system allegedly designed to remove heavy-handed political bias from the news would choose to partner up with a site known for doing just that in its promotion?
Other warning signs that the “facts” presented by Knowhere will likely just end up being the same ones featured by most Left-leaning news organizations include that its creators seem focused on the so-called Russian election meddling story that CNN obsesses over daily. A story they called out by name in their interview with Vice, as one of the prime motivations for why America needs them. This despite the fact that an ever increasing number of Non-Conservative sources have started to admit that the Russian narrative falls apart under any type of actual scrutiny. If this type of liberal hysteria is going to form the basis for the so-called “real news” being offered, I think it’s reasonable to wonder just how true these claims of impartiality really are.
In fact, when you do a little reading it quickly becomes obvious the company’s founders aren’t particularly trying all that hard to pretend that Knowhere isn’t just a platform designed to discredit all Conservative or simply politically incorrect thought. When asked for example, how human input factored into the development of the AI behind Knowhere, its creators stated they “weighed each source for trustworthiness, so a publication with a longstanding history of accuracy like the New York Times is weighted differently than a less reputable site like Breitbart.” To the creators of Knowhere, it would seem a paper owned and operated by a few private billionaires with long-standing histories of progressive based political activism, can’t possibly be anything less than a bastion of honest unbiased journalism.
While much hype is being built around the impressive artificial intelligence that supposedly makes this all happen. Those who read the fine print on the website might be surprised to discover that all the articles are actually given a final once-over by the companies’ human editors before they go live on the service. Meaning that the same company based around the very idea that humans aren’t able to be impartial on political topics is risking humans altering their so-called “neutral versions” of a story just because they might not like what the AI came up with. Take that, plus the fact the company and its staff are based in the most liberal city in America, San Francisco, and it quickly becomes obvious that the service would never let anything even slightly positive towards the Right be published under the impartial option. Even if the companies own AI confirmed the facts landed that way.
The reason all this is potentially bad news for the rest of us is that if this service or even a future similar competitor ever actually caught on, it will almost certainly be used as a tool by the Left against any type of free thinking alternative journalism. Our new progressively programmed AI overlords will tell us anything that it doesn’t stamp its approval on is automatically fake news. Sadly I predict most liberals will be too busy celebrating the fact they no longer need to critically think while reading the news, to notice they have created an information dystopia right out of an Orwell novel.
Make no mistake, eventually, these AI machines won’t bother offering up a so-called Conservative take at all. In fact, already the people behind Knowhere have said their vision of the future involves removing the Right/Left versions entirely and providing users only with what they will pass off as the unquestionable truth. A truth literally programmed to make us all think the way we are supposed to.