Harvard NiemanLab article: Acing the Algorithmic Beat, Journalism’s Next Frontier

Read the article I co-authored, Acing the Algorithmic Beat, Journalism’s Next Frontier at Harvard University’s NiemanLab.

In a world where key decisions are increasingly driven by algorithms, journalists need to take a closer look at how they they work and how they impact individuals and society. Here is how The Wall Street Journal is approaching it. By Francesco Marconi, Till Daldrup, and Rajiv Pant.

How news organizations combat fake news generated and spread using artificial intelligence

In this age of fake news spreading virally over social media, the recent Harvard Neiman Lab article (link below) is an excellent read.

As I am quoted in the article, “The way to combat deepfakes is to augment humans with artificial intelligence tools.” Humans alone, or technologies alone are ineffective at defeating this growing problem. However, humans augmented with artificial intelligence (AI) technology can be a formidable defense against fake news.

Imagine a fake video clip or photograph that shows a person doing something they didn’t. AI alone may not be able to detect that the video or photo is fake, but AI combined with a human detective — an investigative journalist — can research and examine real world knowledge and information beyond the reach of the AI and determine that it is fake.

The investigative journalist could uncover and confirm from other sources that the person shown in the video or photo couldn’t have been in it because of contradictory real world information. For example, the subject may not have been alive when the video claims to be shot, or have been of a different age, or looked remarkably different in other videos and photos from the same time period.

If you are interested in learning about this fascinating topic — how deep learning is used to both create and combat fake news — I highly recommend reading the article about how The Wall Street Journal is preparing its journalists to detect deepfakes by my colleagues Francesco Marconi and Till Daldrup. The article is approachable, engaging, and educational. It also contains some enjoyable videos and a fun quiz.

Information for Technologists Interested in Learning about Artificial Intelligence

These days, artificial intelligence is gaining a lot of attention in mainstream media. This is a topic that I’ve been passionate about for many years, and a number of fellow technologists have asked me where they can learn about AI.

I have posted a shared Google Document for people with a background in technology and software engineering wanting to learn about AI. Topics include artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, artificial neural networks, reinforcement learning and other concepts. I plan to keep this document updated as I come across interesting AI related articles, new developments, and sources of information.

The document is for technologists who are interested in learning about the basics of AI and related technologies. You need some background in technology and software engineering to delve into AI. However, some of the information I’ve linked to is of general interest.