Combating Fake News with Artificial Intelligence and CodementorX

Published Dec 06, 2017Last updated Apr 11, 2018
Combating Fake News with Artificial Intelligence and CodementorX

Factmata-info

In an age of fake news and misinformation, Factmata, a London-based startup, is on a mission to bring facts back to the general public. With more than 20 years of research experience in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning collectively, the Factmata team is creating an AI-assisted tool for everyday internet users to verify content in real time. The company’s long-term goal is to build a “trust score” for online content so readers can take full charge of the information they consume.

Google Digital News Initiative

Factmata received funding from Google as part of the Google Digital News Initiative in 2016. With the funding, Factmata needed to create a prototype in less than one month. The prototype would be built as a Chrome extension, and the team needed assistance with front-end development to complete it before the tight deadline.

Mentors Make the Best Software Developers

Under such time pressure, the CEO of Factmata, Dhruv Ghulati, turned to CodementorX for help. Dhruv had previously connected with an NLP expert on Codementor, the community CodementorX is built on, and had a great experience with the platform.

He believes that developers who teach others to program must be much better at identifying errors, working cohesively with others, and understanding half-finished repos — these skills were exactly what they needed for the Google Digital News Initiative project. Therefore, he was confident that he could find a top front-end developer who meets his needs on CodementorX.

Fact-checking Chrome Extension

Given the time urgency of Dhruv’s request, the CodementorX team recommended a senior React developer who previously worked for HP and Disney within 48 hours to kick-off the engagement. The developer went on to help Factmata complete the prototype before the deadline.

Factmata mockup
An early mockup of Factmata's prototype for the Google DNI project.

Here is how the Chrome extension prototype works: whenever a user comes across a statement online, the AI-assisted tool will provide data that is relevant to the statement. The goal is to reduce the time and effort an average person takes to validate a piece of information, so he or she can make better decisions accordingly. The tool serves as the user-facing side for Factmata’s underlying fact-checking technology, which is critical to the company’s overall roadmap.

Factmata-quote

While Factmata is still developing the product that is scheduled for release in 2018, they have already raised a seed-round investment from Mark Cuban, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and Brightmail founder Sunil Paul. Unquestionably, fake news is a hard problem to tackle, but with the talented team Factmata has assembled, Dhruv is optimistic about their journey ahead.

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