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Understanding the impact of AI on news consumption

Navigating the rise of AI and misinformation in elections and it’s impact on the Black community
Artificial intelligence (Photo credit: / SomYuZu)

Recent reports have raised concerns about the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in spreading misinformation, particularly during election seasons. A significant number of Americans, including a large portion of the Black community, rely on online platforms like Facebook and YouTube for news — platforms that are not always stringent in vetting information. This has heightened awareness of the potential for manipulated or fake news online.

The Black community’s concerns

According to a media watchdog’s poll, 79% of Americans worry about encountering fake news online, with Black Americans being particularly vigilant. Marc Temple, a leader in Black youth mentorship, emphasizes the importance of verifying information found on social media. Timothy Welbeck, a professor of African American Studies, notes that social media offers marginalized communities a space to connect, but also warns of disinformation campaigns that aim to disrupt social progress.

AI’s role in political misinformation

Instances of AI-generated content, such as fake photos and deepfake videos, have been used to mislead voters and influence political narratives. These tactics have included fabricated images of political support and false endorsements, highlighting the need for critical evaluation of online content.

Monitoring AI’s influence on politics

Publications like Wired are tracking AI’s involvement in global elections, underscoring the challenges social media companies face in managing misinformation. While some AI companies have pledged to implement safeguards against misuse in political contexts, enforcement remains a challenge.

As AI evolves, the Black community must stay informed and critical of their news sources, especially during election periods. It is crucial to understand the implications of AI in politics and to support efforts that promote accurate information and transparency.

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