Smarter technology could solve the fake news problem

AI could stem the flow of fake news

The solution to the deluge of fake news online could in fact be smarter technology, according to SAP National Security Services, a U.S.-based subsidiary of enterprise software provider SAP.

Mark Testoni, president of SAP National Security Services, told CNBC's "Squawkbox" that artificial intelligence and algorithms that identify patterns will allow social media companies, such as Facebook, to better identify fake news sites and the users who create such content. "That's where technology offers great hope," he added.

While fake news is not a new phenomenon, the spread of false information online has been exacerbated through the use of, ironically, algorithms. Algorithms used by Facebook and Google were criticized after they inadvertently boosted the circulation of fake news stories on the internet during the U.S. presidential election cycle this year.

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Testoni also said that these algorithms are already in existence and can be repurposed to target fake news sources. Algorithms that allow advertisements to target specific internet users across different websites are an example of this technology that can be used in recognizing fake news, he said.

"We've seen improvement in some cases already. Clickbait was a big issue over the last year, which is in the same area as (fake news). And through some of the algorithms, some of that has been significantly reduced," Testoni added.

However, technology alone cannot stave off the fake news epidemic. Consumers also need to do their research to ensure that the information they are reading online is accurate, Testoni said.

"We have to be critical consumers and when we read things, we have to not only hope that others are doing fact-checking but we need to take a critical eye and do some verification on our own," he added.

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