‘Slop’ is the dubious online content churned out by AI

A lot of AI-generated content is unreliable. — AFP Relaxnews

Among the huge mass of content now produced by artificial intelligence, much is unreliable and of poor quality. This phenomenon now has a name – slop – in a bid to make Internet users more aware of this ever-growing phenomenon.

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the use of the term "slop" to describe the dubious content generated by AI. The term "slop" may conjure up images of unpalatable food poured into cattle troughs, but it now also refers to mediocre content produced by artificial intelligence. This can include inappropriate advice, bogus articles, dubious social media posts or poor-quality ebooks.

The term first appeared on American forums, but gained in popularity when Google made public its Gemini generative artificial intelligence chatbot, which produced some astonishing results. For example, Google's AI once advised using glue on pizza, or eating one rock a day.

The term is slowly gaining traction, as such content proliferates on the web. Highlighting how this type of content is now easy and inexpensive to produce, an American journalist recently succeeded in setting up from scratch a fully automated political disinformation site, capable of publishing dozens of fake news stories a day.

Note that slop should not be confused with botshit, a term referring to false or misleading content on the Internet generated by artificial intelligence tools, or “bots”. The phenomenon is taking on particular significance today, as it could have a direct influence on the results of forthcoming elections. – AFP Relaxnews

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