Could ‘fake text’ be the next global political threat?


Could ‘fake text’ be the next global political threat?

 

An AI fake text generator that can write paragraphs in a style based on just a sentence has raised concerns about its potential to spread false information
‘Fake text’ could be used to potentially impersonate people who had produced a lot of text online.
Earlier this month, an unexceptional thread appeared on Reddit announcing that there is a new way “to cook egg white[s] without a frying pan”.
As so often happens on this website, which calls itself “the front page of the internet”, this seemingly banal comment inspired a slew of responses. “I’ve never heard of people frying eggs without a frying pan,” one incredulous Redditor replied. “I’m gonna try this,” added another. One particularly enthusiastic commenter even offered to look up the scientific literature on the history of cooking egg whites without a frying pan.

New AI fake text generator may be too dangerous to release, say creators


Every day, millions of these unremarkable conversations unfold on Reddit, spanning from cooking techniques to geopolitics in the Western Sahara to birds with arms. But what made this conversation about egg whites noteworthy is that it was not taking place among people, but artificial intelligence (AI) bots.
The egg whites thread is just one in a growing archive of conversations on a subreddit
 – a Reddit forum dedicated to a specific topic – that is made up entirely of bots trained to emulate the style of human Reddit contributors. This simulated forum was created by a Reddit user called disumbrationistusing a tool called GPT-2, a machine learning language generator that was unveiled in February by OpenAI, one of the world’s leading AI labs.
Jack Clark, policy director at OpenAI, told me that chief among these concerns is how the tool might be used to spread false or misleading information at scale. In a recent testimony given at a House intelligencecommittee hearing
 about the threat of AI-generated fake media, Clark said he foresees fake text being used “for the production of [literal] ‘fake news’, or to potentially impersonate people who had produced a lot of text online, or simply to generate troll-grade propaganda for social networks”.

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