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Daily Archives: June 11, 2024

Tracking AI-enabled Misinformation

“From unreliable AI-generated news outlets operating with little to no human oversight, to fabricated images produced by AI image generators, the rollout of generative artificial intelligence tools has been a boon to content farms and misinformation purveyors alike.  This AI Tracking Center is intended to highlight the ways that generative AI has been deployed to turbocharge misinformation operations and unreliable news. The Center includes a selection of NewsGuard’s reports, insights, and debunks related to artificial intelligence.  To date, NewsGuard’s team has identified 957 Unreliable AI-Generated News and information websites, labeled “UAINS,” spanning 16 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Turkish. These websites typically have generic names, such as iBusiness Day, Ireland Top News, and Daily Time Update, which to a consumer appear to be established news sites. This obscures that the sites operate with little to no human oversight and publish articles written largely or entirely by bots — rather than presenting traditionally created and edited journalism, with human oversight. The sites have churned out dozens and in some cases hundreds of generic articles, about a range of subjects including politics, technology, entertainment, and travel. The articles have sometimes included false claims, including about political leaders (see example below relating to the Israeli Prime Minister). Other false claims relate to celebrity death hoaxes, fabricated events, and articles presenting old events as if they just occurred.  In many cases, the revenue model for these websites is programmatic advertising under which the ad-tech industry delivers ads without regard to the nature or quality of the website. As a result, top brands are unintentionally supporting these sites. Unless brands take steps to exclude untrustworthy sites, their ads will continue to appear on these types of sites, creating an economic incentive for their creation at scale. In addition to the sites included in the Tracker, NewsGuard analysts identified a Chinese-government run website using AI-generated text as authority for the false claim that the U.S. operates a bioweapons lab in Kazakhstan infecting camels to endanger people in China. NewsGuard has also identified a network of 167 news websites with Russian ties masquerading as local news outlets that publish false or egregiously misleading claims about the Ukraine war and primarily use AI to generate content…”

New Dataset of State Interest Group Policy Positions in the United States

“Research on the activities and influence of interest groups in state legislatures faces a data problem: we are missing a comprehensive, systematic dataset of interest groups’ policy preferences on state legislation. We address this gap by introducing the Dataset on Policy Choice and Organizational Representation in the United States (CHORUS). This dataset compiles over 13… Continue Reading

Common sunscreen myths, debunked

Vox: “Despite the extremely well-established science linking sun exposure to skin cancer, bad sun safety advice on social media simply will not stop — and a lot of people are buying it. In several recent surveys, between one and three out of every 10 adults believed a range of falsehoods about sunscreen and sun exposure;… Continue Reading

US Postpartum Mortality Rate 395 Percent Higher Than Other Wealthy Countries

TruthOut: “A new report from The Commonwealth Fund shows that, despite better outcomes since the pandemic, the United States “continues to have the highest rate of maternal deaths of any high-income nation” in the world. Around four out of five of these deaths “are likely preventable,” the report states, suggesting that the U.S. could save… Continue Reading

FBI Releases 2024 Quarterly Crime Report and Use-of-Force Data Update

“On Monday, June 10, 2024, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released the Quarterly Uniform Crime Report (Q1), January-March, 2024 and the National Use-of-Force Data Collection Update, March 2024, on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer (CDE) at The Quarterly Uniform Crime Report (Q1), January-March, 2024, provides a preliminary look at crime trends for… Continue Reading

State tax revenues

Data is Plural – “How much money do US states collect through different types of taxes? The Census Bureau’s Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue provides these figures every three months, going back decades. The categories include taxes on property, income, general sales, sales of specific products (such as tobacco, alcohol, gas,… Continue Reading