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Technology 8 October 2018

The Week in Internet News: AI Can Help, But Humans Are the Problem with Fake News

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

AI battles the fake news: Can Artificial Intelligence combat all the fake news that’s out there? An article in Forbes looks at several ways fake news fighters are using AI, but the author casts some doubt on these approaches. Ultimately, humans are the problem, the article says: “The willingness to believe sensational information is a real phenomenon and debunking false information does not always change people’s minds.”

Fake tweets: As social networks take steps to fight against fake news, some still have a way to go. Twitter, for example, is still flooded with sham accounts that generate more than 1 million tweets a day, reports CBS News. Twitter disputed the study the story is based on, noting it has suspended more than 70 million suspicious accounts in May and June.

Tiny infiltrations: Chinese hackers have used tiny microchips to gain access to computers at 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon, Bloomberg reports. Both companies disputed the report, and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre appeared to support the denials later in the week, Reuters says.

Blockchain’s bright future: There were several reports this week focused on the growth projections of the blockchain technology, with the blockchain market eventually worth more than US$7 billion, according to a Bank of America report quoted at CNBC.com. Blockchain will create a huge opportunity for companies like Amazon and Microsoft, the bank said. Meanwhile, the market for blockchain in the agriculture and food supply industries will reach $430 million in the next five years, reports Cointelegraph, citing a Reportlinker forecast. Blockchain in the manufacturing sector could be worth $500 million by 2025, Cointelegraph says, citing the same projections.

Encryption for drug deals: An executive from a company marketing an “unbreakable” and untraceable encrypted mobile device has pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge, Ars Technica reports. The company was accused of aiding the distribution of illegal drugs with help from the devices.

Case cracked, finally: Law enforcement officials have finally solved the case of a 15-year-old Macintosh virus called Fruitfly, MacObserver reports. The creator used the virus to malware to steal files, watch Mac owners by webcam, and listen to conversations by microphone. Ick.

Read the Internet Society’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning policy paper and explore how it might impact the Internet’s future.

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