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This image was published online along with the AI generated Arlington, Colorado profile as if it was a representation of the town. Is it a structure anyone recognizes?

Whatever AI Holds to Be the Truth is Now the Truth

By Betsy Barnett

December 8, 2023

The other day I came across an article about Arlington, Colorado on my newsfeed from a magazine called StreetRoad. Newsbreak published it on their site and sent it out as a notification. I must have received it because my phone is located in Kiowa County—that in itself is scary enough—evidently near Arlington, Colorado, the subject of this intriguing article.

When I saw the title, I clicked on it as my mind immediately jumped to wondering why anyone would write about present-day Arlington. The title indicated Arlington was a resilient town and full of traditions. I admit, as I began to read, I had to stop and look at the top of the article more than once to make sure I was actually reading about the Arlington I know of that is located on the west end of Kiowa County, Colorado. Was this the Arlington I had grown up knowing as some of my family had long ago homesteaded and lived there in the area. Was this the Arlington that had never been a town during my entire lifetime, at least from my memory, although its history of 130 years ago is quite interesting.

Yep, for sure this article was talking about that Arlington like it was still a town with people who saw each other on the streets during the day and held community celebrations on weekends. The writer seemed to know quite a bit about Arlington, so I thought gosh maybe I know the author of this piece—although I was not impressed with the inaccuracies I was reading about the Arlington, Colorado I knew.

So, who was the author of this article about Arlington, Colorado?—that would be Artificial Intelligence or AI as we’ve all come to know it as.

As a journalist and publisher of this small local newspaper, I have often thought that AI would save me a lot of time on some given articles, but I’m old and stubborn and had not conceded my own unique creativity to the process of writing original content. I write what I know—and if I don’t know it, I go ask questions to people I have identified should know the answer. It’s why small-town editors and publishers are so vital—we fight to continue to tell the truth that exists in our community.

The Arlington article was just a bunch of algorithms thrown together to try to determine some reality that AI created. It makes me mad—it scares me even more—because, well read the piece below and you will see that AI created a new truth in Kiowa County that everyone will believe—except us stubborn old-timers who know what the truth really is.

Arlington, Colorado: A Portrait of Small-Town Resilience and Tradition

In the vast plains of Kiowa County, Colorado, the tiny town of Arlington stands as a testament to the enduring charm of small-town America. With a population of less than 100, this close-knit community is a snapshot of life where everyone knows your name, and the median age of 72.5 years tells of a place steeped in tradition and wisdom. Arlington’s residents find strength in their modest roots, with an average household income of $57,500 and a commitment to education that’s reflected in their high school and college graduation rates.

Arlington’s storied past is honored through the silent halls of its once-bustling schoolhouse, now a monument to the town’s rich heritage. The broader narrative of Kiowa County, with its history marred by events like the Sand Creek Massacre, is a crucial part of Arlington’s identity. Today, the community’s dedication to preserving this legacy speaks to its resilient spirit and collective pride.

The town’s quaint charm is bolstered by its relationship with neighboring towns like Eads, Haswell, and Sheridan Lake. Events such as the Kiowa County Fair and Maine Street Bash are vibrant expressions of regional camaraderie, where quilt shows and parades are more than just entertainment—they’re a celebration of shared values and mutual support.

Despite its diminutive size, Arlington stands proudly within Kiowa County, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustle of modern life. Its simple lifestyle belies a deep-seated vibrancy, found in community gatherings and the warm smiles of its residents. In Arlington, the American dream persists at a leisurely pace, capturing the essence of a close-knit community that continues to thrive in the heart of the High Plains.

(This post includes content assisted by AI tools. This content was assisted by AI and may contain errors.)

After reading such inaccuracies presented in a supposed reliable media format as Newsbreak, I have to ask what else is being written that just isn’t true. I’m guessing as AI is used more and more by students, yes journalists, and people in all careers where content is king the truth is getting more and more blurred with each passing day and each AI generated article.

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, in which you can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes; only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth.” — George Orwell, 1984

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