💻 A news aggregation app shared a story about a deadly shooting

💻 Bridgeton police said it didn't happen

💻 The article was written using A.I.

BRIDGETON — Artificial intelligence? More like "fake news."

A report about a person found shot to death inside a home on Christmas Day was falsely generated by artificial intelligence, police say.

The report pushed out by the news aggregation app Newsbreak, and credited to an outlet called New Jersey Insight, said a "local resident was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds" at a home on West Broad Street. The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office was investigating, according to the report.

It never happened, according to Bridgeton police.

“It is entirely false. Nothing even similar to this story occurred on or around Christmas, or even in recent memory for the area they described,” Bridgeton police wrote on its Facebook page.

A note at the bottom of the article states it includes content "assisted by AI tools" and may contain errors.

A.I. prone to 'hallucinations'

Many individuals and companies have been making use of A.I., which are large language models popularized recently by ChatGPT. But many professionals and students have realized that ChatGPT and the like are prone to making errors known as "hallucinations," in which the A.I. program concocts fictitious or erroneous names, locations, figures and sources, passing them off as real.

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A.I. use by media organizations under debate

The article illustrates the debate over the use of artificial intelligence in writing news stories.

Gannett, the publisher of newspapers nationwide including the Asbury Park Press and news websites like NorthJersey.com, tried using an A.I. service called LedeAI to write summaries of high school sports for its Columbus Dispatch.  Axios reported that the descriptions read as if written by a computer.

"The Worthington Christian [[WINNING_TEAM_MASCOT]] defeated the Westerville North [[LOSING_TEAM_MASCOT]] 2-1 in an Ohio boys soccer game on Saturday," read one report.

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The Associated Press issued guidelines this year on artificial intelligence, saying the tool cannot be used to create publishable content and images for the news service. The AP, however, encourages staff to become familiar with the technology.

“Our goal is to give people a good way to understand how we can do a little experimentation but also be safe,” Amanda Barrett, vice president of news standards and inclusion at AP, said.

Rep. Tom Kean
Rep. Tom Kean (Rep. Tom Kean via Facebook)

Legislation proposed to identify A.I. generated content

After fake pornographic images of female students at Westfield High School — aka deepfakes — recently made the rounds among the school community, U.S. Rep. Tom Kean, R-N.J. 7th District, proposed legislation called the A.I. Labeling Act of 2023, which would help people know when they are viewing AI-made content, rather than genuine photos or text.

Specifically, under the bill, developers of A.I. systems would be forced to display a disclosure that identifies content that had been created through their software.

Previous reporting by Dino Flammia was used in this report.

(Includes material copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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