Yahoo! News: AI-generated ‘fake obituaries’ publishing incorrect information about deceased online 

February 12, 2024

“This is a really, really disturbing example of a much larger trend that we’re seeing, which is just the proliferation of AI [artificial intelligence] generated misinformation,” said Grant Fergusson, an Equal Justice Works Fellow for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). 

Fergusson said incorrect obituaries could be caused by what’s known as AI hallucinations. That’s when computer systems jumble different information about a person or subject together, creating content that is factually wrong. 

“There is a lot of AI-generated garbage out there and a lot of isn’t malicious in any sense,” Fergusson said. “People are looking for clicks and ad revenue and sometimes obituaries are going to be one of the things that are popping up on websites.” 

… “I think data privacy protections can go very far in regulating harmful AI uses,” Fergusson said. “The more protections, the more regulations we have around how companies can collect and use data, the better.” 

Watch the interview here.

Support Our Work

EPIC's work is funded by the support of individuals like you, who allow us to continue to protect privacy, open government, and democratic values in the information age.

Donate