YouTube algorithm goes wrong, confuses Notre Dame Fire for 9/11 attacks

YouTube algorithm goes wrong, confuses Notre Dame Fire for 9/11 attacks

Google-owned YouTube is in trouble again. The automated artificial intelligence (AI) that is responsible to counter fake news has gone wrong. The recent fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was informed as to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York by showing a description of the 9/11 attacks instead of Notre Dame fire under a live stream video of the fire.

This issue of the algorithm going wrong was noticed on the live streams of YouTube pages of France 24, CBS and NBC news.

It is quite evident that YouTube’s automated intelligence mistook the live visuals of burning cathedral similar to the footage from 9/11 terror attacks.

The fact-checking panels showed the wrong description being shown with the live stream of Notre Dame Cathedral fire and the irony is that the fact-checking panel is there to verify the information to combat fake news and misinformation. This feature was rolled out by YouTube in a few countries including India.

Also, the information panel which was shown with the Notre Dame Cathedral fire Livestream was sourced from Encyclopedia Britannica which is one of the partners for YouTube to source information.

YouTube in an official statement said “We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre Dame cathedral. Last year, we launched information panels with links to third-party sources like Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia for subjects subject to misinformation. These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call.”

As per the reports, the coverage of Notre Dame fire on YouTube pages of  ABC News and Fox News did not show the 9/11 terrorist attack information in the Fact Check panels.

For those unaware, these panels trigger automatically after YouTube’s algorithms identify a breaking news event.

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