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Factmata takes on fake news and wins bigly

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by Startacus Admin

As the saying goes, you better check yourself before you wreck somebody’s career with your inexcusable ignorance and misinformation. It’s definitely something like that, anyway.

If only there were some sort of state-of-the-art fact-checking system that uses machine intelligence to protect people from misleading information…

Developed at University College London and University of Sheffield, Factmata is that state-of-the-art fact-checking system, built by a team of machine learning and natural language processing researchers to help people in this world of fake news, fake fake news, and politicians and world leaders who lie to the camera so blatantly you might even start to doubt your own knowledge that it’s a lie!

Primarily, and for the moment, Factmata is for statistical claims made in digital media content - the examples being news articles and political speech transcripts.
Fact-checking is not always easy, the lies and mistaken claims people tell and make not always obvious and straightforward. This can result in either an unwillingness to do the research necessary to research the truth or overlooking things. Often the only people who make the effort to fact check are the media, who may already be mistrusted. By automating the process of fact checking, using artificial intelligence built with cutting-edge academic research in natural information processing and information retrieval, fact-checking suddenly becomes easier and more accurate (unless you want to fact-check an article about Skynet).

And it seems that apart from building a state-of-the-art fact-checking system, the founders of Factmata are pretty good at pitching too. They reportedly just last week Factmatasecured $750k in Seed funding when Founder and CEO Dhruv Gulati wrote an introduction email directly to billionaire investor Mark Cuban who then participated in its seed round, alongside Mark Pincus Founder of Zynga and Brightmail founder Sunil Paul - nice work.

Factmata’s pitching also convinced Google (via the Google Digital News Initiative) to grant them €50,000 as part of its drive to help fund fact-checking businesses in 2016, because false information and fake news can range from a little annoying (like false claims that your favourite comedian is dead) to outright dangerous (remember the Pizzagate shooting?).

Anything that helps counteract these insidious new perils of the digital age is welcome and sorely needed.

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Published on: 12th September 2017

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