Puja Changoiwala in Undark:
False words, phony videos, doctored photos, and violent content are regular features on the online ecosystem worldwide. India is no exception, where such content, which often attracts millions of views, has led to grave crimes and even communal and political unrest.
With more than half a billion Indians online, the Indian government and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp now struggle to contain the misinformation and disinformation epidemics. MetaFact, a local startup, says it has found solutions in a type of artificial intelligence called natural language processing, which combines linguistics and computer science. The goal of the technology is to teach computers how to understand how human, or natural, language works by showing it many examples.
MetaFact’s fact-checking tool, the company says, uses natural language processing, sometimes called NLP, to help detect, monitor, and counter phony stories. The tool is meant to extend to newsrooms “the power to detect and monitor fake news in real time, sifting through all the data cacophony that is generated online,” Sagar Kaul, MetaFact’s founder, wrote in an email to Undark.