Media Bias and Access
The digital era has turned the media landscape upside down. Once trusted news sources have become dependent on marginal digital advertising revenue, needing to pander to populism and cut costs per click. We live in a world where 70% of the adult population of the United States uses Facebook as their primary source of news, an echo-chamber of recommendation engines, ever more finely tuned to provide people the views they wish to hear. The now magnified phenomenon of “fake news” wreaks havoc with perceptions of elections, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters, and subtle tools of propaganda are available to anyone with Google Ad Words credits and an internet connection.
Working closely with JSI, the University of Zurich, and key stakeholders across a variety of media projects, the AI for Good Foundation is developing frameworks to combat the preponderance of false, misleading, and manipulative information on the web. Through the Event Registry project, and associated Machine Learning infrastructure, we are able to view the roots of bias in news production across languages and the web.
A host of new projects will provide transparency into the trustworthiness of sources, and new ways to consume and evaluate information. Information needs to be transparent, and universally accessible. Publishers should be rewarded insofar as their information provides value. Publishers should be punished for not maintaining standards of ethics in journalism.
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