Blog: Fighting Fake News and Misinformation using Technology
The story of startup Unbiased
Fake news and misinformation campaigns are the new reality on the Internet and social media. The word Fake News was not invented by Donald Trump. We had fake news and misinformation since the inception of civilization, but the exposure and impact were less.
During the last decade, we have seen a significant rise in the use of technology and its adoption, this is good. With the advancements in connectivity and social media platforms, it is easier now than ever to communicate. At the same time, it is easier now than ever to spread misinformation using the same platforms. This can impact billions of people. We are living in an era where the leader of a country communicates and shares stuff using social media. So now is the time to address the issue of fake news and misinformation than ever before.
During 2018, Fake News and Misinformation has lead to violence and the death of people in India. — Source: wired.com
WhatsApp, India’s most popular messaging platform, has become a vehicle for misinformation and propaganda ahead of the upcoming election. The Facebook-owned app has announced new measures to fight this but experts say the scale of the problem is overwhelming.
We can find 1000’s of articles and news during the last couple of years on how this issue affected us. Who is responsible for all of this?
It’s us. Every individual using the Internet is responsible for all these issues. Wondering WHY?
We as humans have something called confirmation bias. We interpret facts to confirm our own beliefs. We trust the information we see on the Internet, Social Media and News, but let’s be honest we are not 100% sure if it is real or fake.
The business model of the platforms we use today is to ‘keep its users engaged and active’ to extract more data & value. In order to do that, they use Artificial Intelligence and personalizes the experience. But this same logic and functionalities influences our decision-making skills and affects our perception of reality. The decisions we take based on the personalized information, not only affects us as individuals but also our communities at large.
We are generating huge amounts of data every day and it is practically impossible to validate all the information and to get an overall opinion.
“Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and it’s only going to grow from there. By 2020, it’s estimated that 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth.”
How can we fight this huge issue that’s affecting all of us?
Many companies and startups are building applications which use AI to identify Fake News. However, no one could solve the issue entirely.
We at Unbiased, have done research and analysis for more than a year to find a solution. We have concluded that the only way we can address this issue is by changing the way we consume information and build applications that are open and transparent with full privacy control.
With this understanding, we started building tools and applications that are designed to be open and transparent. We have done this work in 3 phases, so that we address the issue in a bottom-up fashion.
PHASE-1: During phase-1, our focus is on building necessary tools and algorithms. Most of the datasets in machine learning and AI domain today are biased, finding a good training dataset is costly and time-consuming. This was our biggest challenge as well.
Our solution is Unbiased Data Marketplace, a crowdsourced platform built using blockchain technology, that can help Machine Learning and AI projects with diverse and quality datasets. This solution can also be used for market research, case studies and many more.
On this platform, anyone can create a request for dataset annotation and our global workforce will work on annotating the datasets in a transparent and auditable way.
Phase-2: During this phase, our focus is to collect all the data that is being generated on various platforms. In order to avoid the ‘possibly’ biased information from one platform, we need to gather all the information from various biased platforms and present it in one place. This is how we convert several biased/unbiased information into one Unbiased information.
Unbiased Search Engine is an open and transparent search engine helping individuals, business and governments with real-time data, basic and detailed insights. We are using blockchain to provide transparent public opinion polls.
We are aggregating various opinions of users into one place and analyzing the data, so we can provide you with all the insights you need. This application debunks the issue of confirmation bias by empowering humans with an Unbiased opinion.
Unbiased Social Media Platform a platform built using blockchain to improve data integrity and to provide incentives to content creators. This solution basically timestamps all the content that is being generated on blockchain and we expect it will be a mandatory thing in the near future.
We are using technology for social good, by doing so at the same time we are creating a potential to compete in 200 Billion Dollar Industry of ML, Social Media, data and analytics.