KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Markovich: What would ‘the most trusted man in America’ think of AI, ‘news’ now?

May 22, 2024, 3:32 AM

Image: Walter Cronkite attends the International Radio And Television Society Foundation's 2004 Gol...

Walter Cronkite attends the International Radio And Television Society Foundation's 2004 Gold Medal Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on March 16, 2004. (Photo: Evan Agostini, Getty Images)

(Photo: Evan Agostini, Getty Images)

In a new survey done by Elon University, that’s a North Carolina school that has nothing to do the guy Tesla, Space X or Twitter, 78% polled believed the outcome of the presidential election will be affected by an abuse of artificial intelligence (AI), either by manipulating social media with fake accounts or bots or by creating fake audio and video news reports that distort the impression of a campaign.

That’s three out of four people surveyed.  That’s a lot.

And 7 out of 10 people were not confident in their own abilities to detect a fake picture, video or audio.

So, who should we trust going forward?

In the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Walter Cronkite was called the most trusted man in America. (And yes, I’m dating myself when I say I grew up watching him as a kid.)  He was an inspiration of why I got into news.

He died 15 years ago: 92 years old.

What would he think of artificial intelligence (AI) in our world of opinionated “news” outlets (and that’s news in quotes)?

How people put trust into cheating sports starts, politicians who lie blatantly without hesitation and leaders of industry who do the same? (And they’re all not fake, they are real people.)

Who would Cronkite – the most trusted man in America – who would he trust?

The answer may be in an old Ronald Reagan Cold War phrase we should keep in mind: Trust, but verify. It’s a phrase that’s neither Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative,  but just common sense.

It’s now incumbent on for all of us to do just that. Don’t believe everything you see and hear right away. I think that’s what the poll is telling us.

Unfortunately, “That’s the way it is, Friday March 6th, 1981. … Good night.”

I could not have ended this commentary any other way.

Matt Markovich often covers the state legislature and public policy for KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of Matt’s stories here. Follow him on X, or email him here.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

thirtymile fire...

Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: I will never forget Devin, Tom, Karen, Jessica in wake of Thirtymile Fire anniversary

This week marks 23 years since the The Thirtymile Fire, a massive wildfire burning north of Winthrop Washington killed four firefighters.

9 hours ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: What do Sting and tantric sex have in common?

John shares an incredible story about a Sting concert at the Gorge… and then somewhere along the way, we (and by “WE”, we mean Jake) landed at tantric sex. Listen to the John & Jake Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM, or visit MyNorthwest.com to […]

2 days ago

biden...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: The lesson we all can learn from President Biden

As disturbed as I am by the state of politics right now, I do have President Biden to thank for giving me a new perspective on a personal matter.

2 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Should President Biden drop out of the race?

Ursula Reutin and Dave Ross have a very spirited conversation about our state’s Democratic response to President Biden. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show every weekday at 9am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM […]

3 days ago

kamala harris...

KIRO Newsradio staff

From the audience: Kamala Harris needs to lead next generation of Democrats

Joe Biden merely needs to hand over the reins of power to his second in command, Vice President Kamala Harris, and sooner rather than later.

3 days ago

biden...

KIRO Newsradio staff

From the audience: How my father’s age makes me scared for Joe Biden

A KIRO Newsradio listener shared his views: As I watch my dad, sometimes what I see in me – I feel it's time for Joe Biden to "let it go."

4 days ago

Markovich: What would ‘the most trusted man in America’ think of AI, ‘news’ now?