Why News Genuinely Sucks & Why Artificial Intelligence Is Going To Need To Fix It
I am going to say something rarely said by anyone who writes articles, but I feel it’s an important thing to casually mention. Borderline every article I write is geared 100% to get attention, be controversial and make some people really, really happy and make some people want to turn me into a meme series mocking my haircut. That’s literally the entire reason I write. It’s to express a view I genuinely have in a way that will stir things up, in a packaging and labelling designed to get it noticed.
When I co-founded Being Libertarian, we did a group Skype call early on to review things, and one item on the list was reviewing articles to see what got the most clicks. I had six of the top ten articles on the site. Literally, four of the articles I did were actually beating people directly going on the site itself. Were my articles smarter? Absolutely not. Did I include good citations and make sure I was working for my Pulitzer? Heh… come on! Were my articles better than the rest? Well, I never bothered to read a damn thing anyone else wrote, so maybe. There was nothing about the articles itself, just the packaging and method. The highest performing article on the site was titled something like “Let’s Face It FDR Was a Horrible President.” I 100% believed in that statement and 100% meant every word of that title, but it wasn’t really that good of an article. It was just well timed and really, really well-titled, with a series of funny jokes. It was like pouring gasoline on the fire of libertarians who hated FDR.
Here’s why this relates to the title of the article you just clicked on.
The simple truth is I’ve learned from doing BL, and from studying sites over the last year, that two types of websites exist for news. The first type and more common one are sites genuinely just geared for making money. This type has several different classes. The first class is made of more legitimate sites focused on making money that don’t put out outright lies, but they don’t give you real world news. I remember when I was in high school on a trip to Montauk and I wanted to watch TV to see if Congress was going to pass the Cap & Trade law, but just sat there and watched four days of Fox, CNN & NBC focused on Michael Jackson’s death. They won’t let people get smart news or know the real things in life. It’s just for the simple reason that people are total and complete idiots who would rather know the mom from the Brady Bunch died in 2016 over bother to learn who the hell Fidel Castro was and what that idiot prime minister in Canada said about him.
The next category in for-profit news is clickbait which is basically the same story recycled 40x and it is just dumb stuff. It’ll basically talk about some really random piece of a story no one cares about and has no real meaning on anything at all. It’s harmless, but most sites just do it.
The next thing is fake news. This is when morons post something from NaturalNews.com, Breitbart post the death of Andrew Brietbart and basically the vast majority of websites geared for leftist, conservatives and libertarians, and somehow other morons share it. They’ll have total BS stories on Obama being born in Kenya, stuff Justin Bieber said that they claim Donald Trump tweeted, mountains of fake news and claims some scam supplement cures diabetes. All total BS and I’m glad Facebook is trying to at least talk about getting rid of it. However, the news is never going to tell you anything about important issues and it’s likely only getting worse from here.
That is the for-profit news, but the other type of news is basically people such as myself: assholes who just love to never shut the hell up. I write genuinely due to having an opinion and for it to go viral. People such as myself write for the following reasons:
- The odd desire to feel important
- The desire to be a complete asshole
- The desire to lie to the public
- The desire to write something terribly generic and use it to feel special
- The desire to boost a resume
People ultimately can’t be trusted to write a damn thing. We will always be biased. We will always be political. We will always be tempted to lie or spin the truth. We will always suck!
And so, we need artificial intelligence and computer overlords to give us news for us, something which sounds stupid, but likely is going to happen in the next few years.
First off, we have this thing called fake news which is a problem. We also have this problem of clickbait sites. Within the next three years, apps will be developed that, regardless of which social network a person is using, they will be able to go on it, scan the content put up and determine things such as site history, traffic, earlier reports and so in seconds be able to see if a site is biased, bullshit or honest. It’s going to be the death to almost all these little popup news shops and either people get real or they die. That’s the first rise of computers in news.
The second half to this happens five years from now and by the year 2030 will be how most people get news: we will have computers write all of it!!! Companies will have physical human reporters on the ground constantly and the information they report on gets moved into systems where in seconds they’ll be converted into news stories told in different formats. The formats will gear reading on exactly the method people want it to be written. For example, if someone wants a meme where a story gets told in a very, very simple format, it’ll happen. If someone wants to read things in the way of Thomas Sowell, the systems will copy his writing style and source other information to equate to stories and likely be able to make it so no one can tell the difference in how Thomas Sowell would tell a story to how artificial intelligence would. Doing this, people can have conservative news, liberal news, libertarian news or whatever, and the systems will gear them for reader’s choice and provide them faster/better over other sites.
So why is this better? The simplest reason is that having these systems do the job of writing stories will just at the end of the day make for easier ways to see the other spins on them. It’ll allow for people to go passed what they are used to and in one click be able to see things in a new light.
However, it’ll likely not change anything. Why? Because people just like news to reaffirm biases over actually learn things. People going on sites such as natural news or watching Sean Hannity/Rachel Maddow are aware it’s total BS. Honestly, if anyone goes on a site called Being Libertarian and for five seconds is expecting balanced reporting, they are likely stoned.