DEC 18, 2019 9:55 AM PST

Can Technology Stop Fake News?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Technology is making magnificent strides in advancing society and now they are working towards demystifying fact from fiction. Specifically, scientists from the University of Waterloo have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that could “media fact-check” by helping news organizations and outlets weed out any false stories.

“If they are, great, it’s probably a real story,” said Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering at Waterloo. “But if most of the other material isn’t supportive, it’s a strong indication you’re dealing with fake news.”

The tool utilizes deep-learning AI algorithms to decipher if a ‘story’ is supported by other similar stories shared on a certain subject. In other words, the system will continually ‘teach itself’ as it detects truth from fiction on other networks

“It augments their capabilities and flags information that doesn’t look quite right for verification,” said Wong, a founding member of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute. “It isn’t designed to replace people, but to help them fact-check faster and more reliably.”

Learn more about the epidemic of fake news:

Developers were encouraged to develop such a tool due to the increasing deception of news media that deceives or misleads its readers and to combat those who use fake stories for their own political or economic gain.

“We need to empower journalists to uncover truth and keep us informed,” said Chris Dulhanty, a graduate student who led the project. “This represents one effort in a larger body of work to mitigate the spread of disinformation.”

Source: The University of Waterloo

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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