Friday March 01, 2024

Your Google News feed likely features AI-generated articles
  Posted by: Engadget on Jan 18th, 2024 7:46 PM

AI-generated content can be found everywhere online, including your Google News feed. A report from 404 Media revealed that Google News can boost websites filled with AI-generated articles ripped from other outlets. While this isn’t a total surprise, the revelation is disappointing. Google News used to be a place you’d find the latest and most accurate information on most topics. But just because something makes it to Google News doesn’t necessarily mean the information is reliable.

404 Media cited several examples of AI-written articles getting past Google. One example involved a “news site” called Worldtimetodays, that recently published an article about Star Wars. An analysis of the article showed it was highly similar to one published earlier by Distractify. The Worldtimetodays article included the same author photo along with some odd phrasings, as you’d expect with AI. The ripped article read “Let’s be honest, war of stars fans,” instead of Star Wars fans. The site also had articles that were barely rewritten from Heavy, without bothering to replace Heavy’s watermarked images.

As AI advances and becomes even more accessible, we will likely continue to see mass output of plagiarized articles and unreliable information, some of which may hit Google News. The company told 404 Media that while it tries to filter spam on Google News, it isn’t overly concerned whether an article is written by humans or AI. A Google representative told the publication said it’s more about the quality of the content.

“Our focus when ranking content is on the quality of the content, rather than how it was produced. Automatically-generated content produced primarily for ranking purposes is considered spam, and we take action as appropriate under our policies,” the statement read.

Google went on to reiterate that websites are considered for Google News automatically, and new websites may not be immediately detected by the system. The company added that its goal is to reward “original content that demonstrates things such as expertise and trustworthiness,” but it looks like it’s missing the mark by letting these AI-generated articles through in the first place.

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