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It Looked Like a Reliable News Site. It Was an A.I. Chop Shop.

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the rise and fall of BNN Breaking, a news website that used AI-generated content to publish numerous falsehoods and errors, leading to complaints and a defamation lawsuit. It highlights the growing concern around AI-powered misinformation and its impact on the online information ecosystem, particularly on traditional news organizations.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Rise and Fall of BNN Breaking

1. What was BNN Breaking and how did it operate?

  • BNN Breaking was a news website based in Hong Kong that claimed to have a worldwide roster of "seasoned" journalists and 10 million monthly visitors.
  • However, the website primarily used an AI chatbot to paraphrase articles from other news sites and publish them under the bylines of its journalists, often without their knowledge or consent.
  • The website published numerous falsehoods and errors, including a story that incorrectly featured a photo of an Irish DJ instead of the intended subject.

2. What were the consequences of BNN Breaking's actions?

  • The website's mistakes led to complaints and a defamation lawsuit from the Irish DJ whose photo was used in the erroneous story.
  • BNN Breaking's actions also damaged the reputations of its journalists, who had their bylines attached to AI-generated stories without their approval.
  • The website's closure and the subsequent launch of a new site, TrimFeed, highlight the ongoing challenge of combating AI-powered misinformation in the online news ecosystem.

[02] The Impact of AI-Generated Content on Journalism

1. How is AI-generated content impacting the news industry?

  • AI-generated content is upending and often poisoning the online information supply, as it can easily rip off the work of journalists and enable error-ridden counterfeits to circulate more widely.
  • This threatens the viability of traditional news organizations, which are already competing for traffic and advertising dollars against low-quality, AI-powered "pink slime journalism."
  • AI-generated stories can outrank their source material on search engines and social platforms, diverting advertising spending and further squeezing out sustainable, trustworthy journalism.

2. What are the concerns around the rise of AI-powered news?

  • Experts are worried that AI aggregators could chip away at the credibility and viability of local journalism by stealing intellectual property and contaminating the information ecosystem with junk content.
  • Many audiences already struggle to distinguish machine-generated material from reports produced by human journalists, which could further erode trust in the news.
  • The ease with which AI can generate large volumes of low-quality content is a strong motivator for websites like BNN Breaking, which can use programmatic advertising to monetize their operations.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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