The proliferation of AI-generated misinformation has reached an alarming scale, with NewsGuard uncovering 614 ‘Unreliable AI-Generated News’ websites (UAINS) operating across 15 languages but not the Greek yet. These websites, often disguised with generic names like ”iBusiness Day” or “Daily Time Update”, present a facade of established news sites while functioning with minimal to no human oversight. The content churned out by these AI-driven sites spans various topics, including politics, technology, entertainment and travel with the unsettling inclusion of false claims about political leaders and celebrity death hoaxes.
The AI Tracking Center established by NewsGuard sheds light on the insidious ways generative AI has turbocharged misinformation operations. These UAINS have exploited programmatic advertising, with top brands inadvertently supporting them unless proactive measures are taken. The economic incentive for creating such sites at scale is fueled by the blind delivery of ads by the ad-tech industry. The criteria for inclusion in the tracker ensure that these sites not only heavily rely on AI for content creation but also lack significant human oversight, maintain a deceptive appearance as traditional news outlets, and fail to disclose the AI-driven nature of their content. As we navigate this complex landscape, the Tracking Center serves as a crucial tool for exposing the hidden web of AI-generated misinformation and encourages brands to take responsibility for their inadvertent support of unreliable sources.
The domains included on this tracker meet all four of the following criteria:
- There is clear evidence that a substantial portion of the site’s content is produced by AI.
- Equally important, there is strong evidence that the content is being published without significant human oversight. For example, numerous articles might contain error messages or other language specific to chatbot responses, indicating that the content was produced by AI tools without adequate editing. (It is likely that now or in the future many news sites will use AI tools but also deploy effective human oversight; they will not be considered UAINs.)
- The site is presented in a way that an average reader could assume that its content is produced by human writers or journalists, because the site has a layout, generic or benign name, or other content typical to news and information websites.
- The site does not clearly disclose that its content is produced by AI.