2023 BEA On-Location
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Friday, October 20 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Misinformation, disinformation, fake news and malinformation (MDFM) and the role of Artificial (AI)-generated content: Training communicators to recognize/respond/prevent communication missteps.

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This panel will explore some of the MDFM phenomena and how AI interfaces with it as well as highlight some of the insights and possible solutions for teaching methodology for controlling MDFM. In both scholarly work, and commercial media, MDFM is a concern. During the COVID-19 Pandemic in February 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) with concurrence from the United Nations Secretary General identified COVID-19 related false or mistaken information as an “Infodemic” a “tsunami of misinformation hate, scapegoating and scare-mongering.” In fact multiple entities attributed the cause of multiple deaths COVID-19 impacts to MDFM which included some instances where AI aggravated an already unfortunate situation. Similarly, the rise of AI has been a cause of great concern and the subject of multiple senate and house hearings in the United States (West, 2023) and other actions in other countries seeking to ban or otherwise regulate a developing phenomenon. Various serious crimes have been and may be caused in the future by the abuse of AI capabilities paired with aspects of MDFM. Journalists as well from the New York Times (Hsu et al., 2023) and the Associated Press (Klepper, D. et al., 2023) both caution that MDFM’s impact can be compounded greatly through the use of AI for production and dissemination of MDFM if adjustments are not make. However, in a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, (Humble et al., 2022) AI has been described not only as a harmful actor but also a possible solution to MDFM promulgation. In their study AI is an area of “tremendous growth in innovation and automation” that can offer “…significant benefits (or) …be used maliciously.” Their threat landscape study, states that while that there is evidence of application of the destructiveness of AI, there are also positive applications, including use AI to identify and correct misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. In addition, researchers Mehra (2023), Huddleston (2022) and online entities like (ITU News, 2022) offer recent explanations/examples of how AI can be used to fight misinformation. Scholars highlight online resources put forward by entities like META, the Government of India, Google, and other private firms to use AI to identify and counter MDFM efforts using various algorithms etc. Besides scholarly research, commercial entities like Agility PR, Facebook, Meta and non-profits like The Brookings Institute, the International Telecommunications Institute, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and even periodicals Wired, Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education offer solutions on how AI can be used to detect and combat misinformation.
Moderator: Jeffrey Ranta, Assistant Professor, Coastal Carolina University
Wes Fondren, Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies, Coastal Carolina University and Chief Training Officer for AI issues; Explaining AI functionality—how it works, features, benefits, and shortcomings.

Corinne Dalelio, Associate Professor and Director of the MA in Communication Program at Coastal Carolina University and author of the book Interactive Media and Society; Explaining the sociological and cultural impacts of MDFM on digital media usage and media literacy in light of AI.

Jeffrey Ranta, Assistant Professor, Coastal Carolina University, Faculty Adviser to student-run TEAL Nation Communications, and WCCU student radio station/ consultant for HHS COVID-19 vaccination communications. Topic: Recognition and strategies to counter MDFM in public relations/health communication in the realm of AI-generated content.

Adam Pitluk, Assistant Professor Coastal Carolina University, owner/editor in chief of Midwest Luxury Publishing; Safeguarding journalism students from reporting and publishing MDFM, and AI-generated content.

James Ndone, Assistant Professor, Coastal Carolina University, professional journalist trainer, former Editor In Chief Business Today Kenya. Topic: Discussing safeguarding crisis response from MDFM and AI-generated content • Harold Vincent, Senior Lecturer, Elon University, Faculty Adviser Live Oak Communications; Identifying and countering MDFM in strategic communication.


Jeffrey Ranta

Coastal Carolina University


Wes Fondren

Coastal Carolina University

Corinne Dalelio

Coastal Carolina University

James Ndone

Coastal Carolina University

Adam Pitluk

Coastal  Carolina University

Harold Vincent

Elon University

Friday October 20, 2023 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
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Attendees (6)