Technology 2 min read

Researchers Develop an AI Tool To Weed Out False Stories

University of Waterloo researchers want to help social media companies fight disinformation by using an AI system they developed to weed out false stories.

Bogdanovich_Alexander / Shutterstock

Bogdanovich_Alexander / Shutterstock

A team of researchers has developed an AI tool to help social media networks and news organizations identify false stories.

Fake news has proliferated the internet in recent times.

Thanks to the surge in social media adoption, more people are starting to depend on these social networking sites for news. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to verify the credibility of these news stories.

So, it’s not surprising that some individuals deliberately create misinformation to deceive readers. For reasons that vary from political to economic, individuals now use false stories to influence views and opinions.

To be fair, tech giants have made efforts to fight misinformation.

For example, Facebook launched a NewsTab to give its platform users access to credible news earlier in the year. Similarly, studies are exploring why people share fake news with the hope of curbing how it spreads.

Now, researchers at the University of Waterloo have also developed a way of using automation to weed out misinformation.

Using an AI Tool To Identify False Stories

According to the University of Waterloo team, the system can identify fake news through what they’re calling stance detection.

The tool uses a deep-learning AI algorithm to determine if claims made in a story are supported by other posts on the same subject. The researchers showed tens of thousands of claims to the AI algorithm, which in turn paired the claims with stories that either supported the assertion or disprove it.

Over time, the system learned to perform this comparison when shown new claim-story pairs. What’s more, it could make the comparison with 90 percent accuracy.

Ongoing efforts continue to work towards creating a fully automated system for detecting fake news. Until we have access to such a tool, news organizations and social networking sites can use the Waterloo team’s tool as a fact-checker.

It augments their capabilities and flags information that doesn’t look quite right for verification,” said Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering at Waterloo. “It isn’t designed to replace people, but to help them fact-check faster and more reliably.”

Read More: New Study Explores Why People Share Fake News

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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