Technology 3 min read

Microsoft Creates AI Bot That Generates Fake Comments

As if fake news-spreading trolls are not enough problem online, Microsoft and university researchers developed an AI bot that generates fake comments.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

As tech companies continue to strengthen their efforts to eliminate the spread of fake news online, a team of researchers from Microsoft has unveiled an AI bot that can generate fake comments.

Engineers at the Beihang University and Microsoft in China developed a bot they called DeepCom that can comment on news articles. In their paper published in arXiv.org, the researchers wrote:

“Automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications but has not attracted enough attention from the research community. In this paper, we propose a “read-attend comment” procedure for news comment generation and formalize the procedure with a reading network and a generation network.”

While a comments-generating AI bot sounds like another problem, the Microsoft and Beihang University researchers argue that fake comments could help stimulate and encourage discussion in newsreaders.

But, is that really the case?

Using AI bots to Generate Fake Comments and Initiate News Discussion

In their paper, the Chinese researchers noted that news commenting enables people to “express their opinions, show their attitudes, and communicate with each other under the news articles they read.”

Meaning, the commentaries act as a tool to extend the news content and boost the news website’s user engagement. The team claims that a site’s comment section encourages users to engage in discussion, debate with each other, and share new information.

The researchers believe that commentaries present an opportunity to build an automatic news commenting system with data-driven approaches.

“Such systems can enable commenting service for a news website from a cold start, enhance the reading experience for less commented news articles, and enrich skill lists of other artificial intelligence applications, such as chatbots,” the team wrote.

DeepCom reportedly uses two deep neural networks (DNNs) to function: a reading network and a generation network.

The reading network analyzes and comprehends the news article and filters it down to some salient points. Then, the generation network uses the salients points and the article’s title to produce a relevant comment.

When tested using Tencent and Yahoo! News datasets, DeepCom allegedly generated relevant and informative comments by analyzing and understanding the news articles.

“Experimental results on two public data sets indicate that the proposed model can significantly outperform baseline methods in terms of both automatic evaluation and human evaluation,” the team concluded.

Generating fake comments using an AI bot looks promising based on the study. However, the team’s paper failed to mention any possible malicious use or the dangers it might pose by helping spread fake news online.

Read More: Google Releases An Open-Source Deepfake Database

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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