Accuracy in Media

A new website launched Wednesday will use artificial intelligence to write unbiased news.

The site, called Knowhere, will publish three versions of every article, aggregated from websites on the right, center and left of the political spectrum.

“Fake news, the Russia misinformation scandal, and all of these issues that are at the top of the Zeitgeist at the moment are all symptoms of a fundamental problem that information moves too fast and at too large a scale for us to be able to reliably parse it and understand the world as human beings,” Knowhere editor-in-chief and co-founder Nathaniel Barling told Motherboard.

Knowhere will search the internet using an algorithm that sorts through newly published articles in near real time to determine which stories are the most popular.

It then aggregates stories from more than a thousand different sources with varying political views to create a “knowledge graph” or database of each news story. Despite the use of AI, the site will still use human input with the co-founders weighing each source for trustworthiness.

The site then publishes three versions of each article, right, impartial and left to show the reader how word selection and emphasis can result in biased reporting.

Barling says he believes his vision will be the future of journalism.

In addition to the co-founders involvement in the trustworthiness of a site, Knowhere will use at least two human editors to review every story before publishing to check for errors and style. They will also check for signs of bias or favorability in the impartial versions of stories. The editorial team currently consists of engineers and freelance journalists from all over the world.

“What is the absolute truth and what is absolute impartiality is almost an impossible problem if not an impossible problem so that is one of the reasons why we say nothing get published on the site unseen,” Barling said. “Everything gets reviewed, everything gets edited and everything is then reviewed post-editing as well so we have a check and balance between our journalist, our editorial team, and the algorithms themselves.”

Barling told Motherboard that he will be the final arbiter for every story.

“The buck stops with me,” he said.

To avoid spreading fake news themselves, Knowhere won’t publish a story until at least five verified sources have previously written about the topic.

Even though Knowhere will be using AI to try and eliminate fake news, the fact that there will be human element making subjective decisions means that there will still be some bias in what they report.

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