Is it possible to know a person's intent?
It sure would sound amazing to know what others are thinking or what their intent is! Moving in this direction, researchers have devised a method that could help in detecting if a person’s intent is to mislead or not.
It sure would sound amazing to know what others are thinking or what their intent is! Moving in this direction, researchers have devised a method that could help in detecting if a person's intent is to mislead or not.
This method which can be used to derive opinion from "fake news" among other uses, was published in the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.
The researchers posit that while a true story can be manipulated into various deceiving forms, the intent, rather than the content of the communication, determines whether the communication is deceptive or not.
For example, the speaker could be misinformed or make a wrong assumption, meaning the speaker made an unintentional error but did not attempt to deceive.
"Deceptive intent to mislead listeners on purpose poses a much larger threat than unintentional mistakes," said co-author Eugene Santos Jr, professor of engineering at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth.
"To the best of our knowledge, our algorithm is the only method that detects deception and at the same time discriminates malicious acts from benign acts," added Santos.
Researchers developed a unique approach and the resulting algorithm that can tell deception apart from all benign communications by retrieving the universal features of deceptive reasoning.
The study used data from a 2009 survey of 100 participants on their opinions on controversial topics, as well as a 2011 dataset of 800 real and 400 fictitious reviews of the same 20 hotels.
Santos believes the framework could be further developed to help readers distinguish and closely examine the intent of "fake news," allowing the reader to determine if a reasonable, logical argument is used or if opinion plays a strong role.
Researchers, in the study, used the popular 2001 film Ocean's Eleven to illustrate how the framework can be used to examine a deceiver's arguments, which in reality may go against his true beliefs, resulting in a falsified final expectation.
Because Ocean's Eleven is a scripted film, viewers can be sure of the thieves' intent — to steal all of the money — and how it conflicts with what they tell the owner — that they will only take half.
This illustrates how the thieves were able to deceive the owner and anticipate his actions due to the fact that the thieves and owner had different information and therefore perceived the scene differently.
"People expect things to work in a certain way, just like the thieves knew that the owner would call the police when he found out he was being robbed," said Santos.
"So, in this scenario, the thieves used that knowledge to convince the owner to come to a certain conclusion and follow the standard path of expectations. They forced their deception intent so the owner would reach the conclusions the thieves desired," the author added.