Archive for July, 2017

The State of Automated Factchecking

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The State of Automated Factchecking by Mevan Babakar and Will Moy.

From the webpage:

The State of Automated Factchecking is an in-depth report looking at where we are with automated factchecking globally, and where we could get to with the necessary funding.

It sets out Full Fact’s roadmap for our own work on automated factchecking, and our design principles for the tools we are building.

We propose principles of collaboration for factchecking organisations, researchers and computer scientists around the world.

We hope that it will be the beginning of many fruitful conversations.

It’s split into two parts:

Part One: A roadmap for automated factchecking
Part Two: What we can do now and what remains to be done

Summary

  • We can scale up and speed up factchecking dramatically using technology that exists now.
  • We are months—and relatively small amounts of money—away from handing practical automated tools to factcheckers and journalists. This is not the horizon of artificial intelligence; it is simply the application of existing technology to factchecking.
  • Automated factchecking projects are taking place across the world, but they are fragmented. This means factcheckers and researchers are wasting time and money reinventing the wheel.
  • We propose open standards. Automated factchecking will come to fruition in a more coherent and efficient way if key players think in terms of similar questions and design principles, learn from existing language processing tasks, and build shared infrastructure.
  • International collaboration is vital so that the system works in several languages and countries.
  • Research into machine learning must continue, but we can make serious progress harnessing other technologies in the meantime.

Read the full report

Read The State of Automated Factchecking (pdf, 6Mb) and sign up below to keep up with the latest.

Stay up to date

To stay updated on our progress subscribe to our automated factchecking mailing list, or for any specific questions email Mevan Babakar at mevan@fullfact.org

I mention this report as background reading for the latest efforts by Full Fact to develop automated fact-checking tools.

Enjoy!

Media outrage on threatened violence against Assange?

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

Assange Compiles Media Figures, Establishment Democrats Calling For His Death by Elizabeth Vos.

From the post:

Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange tweeted extensively overnight regarding what he labeled tolerant liberals who have called for his assassination and torture. Assange called such media figures “blue-ticks.” It is not clear at this time what may have prompted the series of tweets. Assange also referenced the torture and murder of what he called “alleged sources” during the series of tweets. He also implicated Hillary Clinton in some of the references. Some understood this to be a reference to the upcoming anniversary of Seth Rich’s murder, but it is not clear at this time who Assange may have been specifically referring to.

I won’t repeat the latest dust-up between the US media and the village idiot they helped elect with their fascination for “man bites dog” type news. Candidate X said Y or did outrageous act Z, so, why is that news? The “media” that reports meetings between US presidents and aliens in the Rose Garden needs something to print. Could have left such stories to them.

Now, however, the candidate they favored with $millions if not $billions in free coverage, is rough-housing with the media. Oh, my!

When you think about reporters in other countries who die on a regular basis, year in and year out, a little harsh talk pales by comparison.

Not to mention the hypocrisy of the US media that reacts to every unkind twitch of the current Whitehouse, but blandly reports calls for the murder of Julian Assange.

I disagree with Assange’s partial leaks*, but even with partial leaks, Assange has empowered public discussion of vital issues for years. You need to ask yourself why in the face of that history, he is not attracting support from mainstream media. Or outrage at calls for violence, explicit calls, against him. (Care to comment New York Times, Washington Post?)

* I disagree on partial leaks because full leaks are likely to be more damaging to those responsible for immoral and/or illegal activity. To that end, those harmed by leaks should have made better choices.