Microsoft’s New AI Generates Believable Fake Comments For News Articles

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The destruction of reality just got one step closer with a new Artificial Intelligence development that will help the world sink further into discord, unrest, and good old propaganda: a neural network capable of writing believable fake comments to news articles.

DeepCom — as the new horseman of the AI apocalypse is called — has recently been made public in a research paper by engineers from Microsoft and Beihang University in China. According to the paper, the scientists believe that “automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications.” 

The system is formed by two neural networks: one to analyze the content of the article — which interprets the headline, lede and body to realize what are the important points. Then, another neural network uses that information to generate the fake comment. Apparently, it is quite successful, as the top natural language processing conference in the world has blessed the paper and will feature it in its annual gathering on November 3, in Hong Kong (of all places!).

The paper author only lists the “positive” uses for their new technology: “Such systems can enable commenting service for a news website from cold start, enhance the reading experience for less commented news articles, and enrich skill lists of other artificial intelligence applications, such as chatbots.”

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Which begs the question: who needs fake comments to cold start a new “news website”? The logical answer: a fake news outlet. Because, if you are willing to mislead your potential human readers into thinking there are other people already commenting on your site but those are only robots, then you have absolutely zero interest in telling the truth on the first place.

The Register — which got wind of this disgrace first — lists some of the potential real uses for believable fake comment generators: shift public perception by oppressive regimes and manipulative outlets, further divide an already polarized society with arguments from bots posing as humans, and add fake positive testimonials to advertorials. 

That is, of course, the nature of this beast. We don’t need trolls spreading fake news and discord. We already have enough with the human ones cowardly hiding behind their screens.

Sadly, this is the state of things. The end of reality is nigh, my friends.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.