No, AI won't solve the fake news problem

At least not for decades to come. Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg.

In his testimony before the US Congress this year, Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, addressed concerns about the strategically disseminated misinformation known as fake news that may have affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Have no fear, he assured Congress, a solution was on its way - if not next year, then at least "over a five-to 10-year period".

The solution? Artificial intelligence (AI). Mr Zuckerberg's vision, which the committee members seemed to accept, was that soon enough, Facebook's AI programs would be able to detect fake news, distinguishing it from more reliable information on the platform.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2018, with the headline 'No, AI won't solve the fake news problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe