A journalist sets up a disinformation site quickly and easily using artificial intelligence

A journalist sets up a disinformation site quickly and easily using artificial intelligence

Il est très facile aujourd'hui de tomber sur des sites de désinformations produits par de l'intelligence artificielle. badahos/Getty Images

For a few dollars and in just two days, an American journalist managed to set up a fully automatic political disinformation site, capable of publishing dozens of fake news per day. Which could prove problematic during an election period.

Jack Brewster is a journalist, now the head of NewsGuard, a start-up that tracks misinformation online. He has just demonstrated that we could very easily and quickly create an entire disinformation site thanks to the latest advances in artificial intelligence. He gives his testimony in an article published in the Wall Street Journal, "How I Built an AI-Powered, Self-Running Propaganda Machine for $105" ("How I Built a Self-Operated, AI-Powered Propaganda Machine for $105").

Fully automated and AI powered

In just two days, for just over $100, the reporter got his own fully automated, AI-powered local news site. To do this, he simply contacted a website developer asking him to create his site. Its particularity is that it is programmed to create false political stories, which can prove to be formidable in this pre-election period in the United States.

Without the slightest expertise, by basing the entire project on a developer he recruited on a freelance candidate platform. And he was spoiled for choice: "I looked for 'information website generated by&#39 ;AI' on the home page and I saw dozens of developers offering to build my site. Prices ranged from $30 to build a basic AI news site to $350 for an automated, monetized news site . His choice turned to a Pakistani man in his thirties, very well rated. The idea here was to create a website specifically designed to support a political candidate, Bernie Moreno, in the race for the US Senate, by discrediting his opponent through fake news.

The selected developer then only had to use a few lines of code and ChatGPT to power his site, called "The Buckeye State Press". In addition to misleading readers (and potentially voters), this site can quickly make money through advertising. With the installation of targeted advertising tools, through algorithms as is the case with Google, a site like this can quickly be a source of significant income.

Setting up this 100% bogus site ultimately cost only $105, or $80 for the developer and $25 for the purchase of the domain name and hosting the site. Since then, the site has been running automatically, publishing dozens of articles every day based on instructions given to it by Jack Brewster. Note that he changed the situation after a few days, this time asking that the articles be this time in favor of Sherrod Brown, Bernie Moreno's opponent. And it worked!

Jack Brewster demonstrates with this example how easy and cheap it is to create false information on the internet, and pass it off as credible information. In total, NewsGuard has already identified more than a thousand sites of this type, supposedly independent local news platforms, but in reality financed by politicians.

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