AI invents NewsBreak Christmas Day murder

Occurred: December 2023

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An AI-generated article about a fatal Christmas shooting in Bridgeton, New Jersey, proved to be false, forcing local police to issue a statement rebutting the story and prompting complaints about the use of AI to generate news, and its role in degrading the internet and unfairly sowing distrust in public authorities. 

A piece by news aggregation site NewsBreak alleged: 'The joyous celebrations of Christmas Day in Bridgeton, New Jersey, were tragically cut short this year. A local resident was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in the 100 block of West Broad Street.' It went on to say that the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office was investigating.

Bridgeton police clarified on Facebook said that the since-deleted article was 'entirely false', and that 'Nothing even similar to this story occurred on or around Christmas, or even in recent memory for the area they described'. The article had no bylined author and said in a disclaimer at the bottom of the page '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.'


Operator: NewsBreak
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate news stories
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance