NewsMobile along with its technology partner FakeNetAI, a startup at the University of California, Berkeley, has won a global innovation challenge for their collaborative project, which detects the usage of deep fake technology on social media platforms.
NewsMobile, which is a Facebook Fact-Checking partner for India, is the only orgzation from Asia to have won the coveted innovation challenge in the second round of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative.
The initiative is a joint project of the Facebook Journalism Project and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute and aims to support innovation projects, new formats, and technologies that will help benefit the broader global fact-checking ecosystem.
"Detect and Debunk Malicious Deepfakes", the joint project between NewsMobile and FakeNetAI has been awarded a USD 99,000 grant. They are among the five winners chosen from a list of 64 proposals and will split a total of USD 450,000.
"This global collaborative project to detect deep fakes will help NewsMobile and Fakenet AI solve one of the biggest challenges in the misinformation genre that of deep fakes, and we are excited to work with our partners IFCN, Facebook and Fakenet AI," Saurabh Shukla, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsMobile said.
"Our winning partnership also strengthens Indo-US cooperation in technology and innovation. At NewsMobile, we have focused on innovation and this is another milestone in our journey as an independent fact-checker and tech-based mobile content platform," Shukla said.
Saurabh Shukla also thanked the team led by IFCN and Facebook for reposing their faith in NewsMobile.
FakeNetAI currently operates a web application that identifies potentially viral posts and analyzes them to detect the usage of deep fake technology.
The problem of deep fakes has emerged as a major challenge in the United States especially in the run-up to the elections and in countries like India too it is growing. Deep fakes involve altering a video and a morphed image is put out which is often used for misinformation and is difficult to detect.
The innovation by NewsMobile and Fakenet AI will create a unique product to detect these deep fakes, which can be used by the fact-checking community.
International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) put out a tweet with the names of the five winners. "Congratulations, @AFPFactCheck + @CERTHellas; @Colcheck + @ourdotnews; @NewsMobileIndia + @FakeNetAI; @LeadStoriesCom + NR8; @PesaCheck + @UW_iSchool https://t.co/brsLs9jvaa pic.twitter.com/XXDyyrrwtP," the International Fact-Checking Network (@factchecknet) said on September 28, 2020.
IFCN Director Baybars Orsek said, "We are committed to supporting innovative research and practices around fact-checking to expand the horizons of our reach and impact for a better information ecosystem. The second round of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative with Facebook will provide the resources and network to pursue this goal."
"FakeNetAI is excited to partner with Facebook, IFCN and NewsMobile to incorporate our technology into the fact-checking process, enabling the fact-checkers to quickly detect deep fakes and prevent them from causing harm," said Raymond Lee, CEO, FakeNet AI.
"This second round features five partnerships between IFCN Code of Principles Signatories and outside compes and universities expanding the fact-checking community to welcome ideas from other fields of expertise," a statement on Poynter's website read.
The mission of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative is to support innovation projects, new formats, and technologies that will help benefit the broader global fact-checking ecosystem.
( With inputs from ANI )
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