Schmidt Admits It Is Hard to Discern Between Fact and Fiction

March 15, 2018

One basic research essential is learning how to tell the difference between fact and fiction.  It used to be easier to control and verify news because information dissemination was limited to physical mediums.  The Internet blew everything out of the water and made it more difficult to discern fact and fiction.  Humans can be taught tricks, but AI still has a lot to learn.  The Daily Mail reports that, “Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt Admits It Is ‘Very Difficult’ For Google’s Algorithm To Separate Fact From Fiction In Its Search Results.”

Millions of articles and other content is posted daily online.  Google’s job is to sift through it and delivery the most accurate results.  When opposing viewpoints are shared, Google’s algorithm has difficulty figuring out the truth.  Eric Schmidt says that can be fixed with tweaking.  He viewed fact vs. fiction problems as bugs that need repair and with some work they can be fixed.  The article highlights some of the more infamous examples of Google’s failing such as the AutoComplete feature and how conspiracy theories can be regarded as fact.

Search results displaying only hard truth will be as elusive as accurate sentiment analytics.

Schmidt added:

That is a core problem of humans that they tend to learn from each other and their friends are like them.  And so until we decide collectively that occasionally somebody not like you should be inserted into your database, which is sort of a social values thing, I think we are going to have this problem.’

Or we can just wait until we make artificial intelligence smarter.

Whitney Grace, March 15, 2018


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