Police Say AI-Generated Article About Local Murder Is "Entirely" Made Up

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“Nothing even similar to this story occurred on or around Christmas, or even in recent memory for the area they described.”

Alternative Facts

Before Christmas, the Southern New Jersey town of Bridgeton was best known for hosting the state’s first zoo — but now, an artificial intelligence-generated news report about a murder that never happened may have put it on the map for all the wrong reasons.

In a Facebook post, Bridgeton police said that a since-deleted article on the news aggregation site NewsBreak about a Christmas Day murder in the town is “entirely false.”

“Nothing even similar to this story occurred on or around Christmas, or even in recent memory for the area they described,” the Bridgeton Police Department’s post explains. “The article does not have an author and states at the bottom, ‘This post includes content assisted by AI tools. This content was assisted by AI and may contain errors. Please verify critical information with trusted sources.'”

Cite Your Sources

While it’s common for AI-generated articles to include disclaimers similar to the one BPD called out, Futurism was not able to independently verify the contents of the article because it has been summarily deleted from NewsBreak and is not archived anywhere online that we were able to find.

We have reached out to the site to ask if the article was a contributor original, which the site does publish a la Medium, or if it had been written elsewhere. That said, we’re not too optimistic about a response, considering that NJ.com said in its own reporting about the AI incident that NewsBreak had not responded to its request for comment.

Ultimately, the slipperiness of this faux article’s sourcing speaks to the heart of AI-generated content. Instead of revolutionizing media — or anything else, for that matter — outlet owners who insist on using generative AI instead of human writers have done little more than sow discord in an institution that’s already infamously mistrusted by the public.

Media was already in a very sorry state before ChatGPT dropped in late 2022, but with a full year of AI madness behind us, it seems like nobody in charge has learned anything from the many mistakes made with the technology.

More on AI “articles”: 80 Percent of Americans Think Presenting AI Content as Human-Made Should Be Illegal

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