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AI Can Help Consumers Identify Fake News

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Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shows that artificial intelligence can help form accurate news assessments — but only when a news story is first emerging.

These findings are described by an interdisciplinary team of researchers in "Tailoring Heuristics and Timing AI Interventions for Supporting News Veracity Assessments," published in Computers in Human Behavior Reports. They found that AI-driven interventions are generally ineffective when used to flag issues with stories on frequently covered topics about which people have established beliefs.

However, when a topic is new and people have not yet formed an opinion, tailored AI-generated advice can lead readers to make better judgments regarding the legitimacy of news articles, the researchers say. The guidance is most effective when it provides reasoning that aligns with a person's natural thought process, such as an evaluation of the accuracy of facts provided or the reliability of the news source.

"It's not enough to build a good tool that will accurately determine if a news story is fake," says Dorit Nevo, an associate professor in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer and one of the lead authors of the paper. "People actually have to believe the explanation and advice the AI gives them, which is why we are looking at tailoring the advice to specific heuristics."

From Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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