Dr. David Corney
Keynote: “How AI Can Help Fact Checkers Fight Bad Information”
Bad information ruins lives.
It harms our communities, spreads hate, hurts our democracy and leads to bad decisions. Like all fact checkers, “Full Fact” aims to change debate for the better. We start by monitoring discussions in the public sphere and verifying whether claims being made are in fact supported by the evidence. We then ask people to correct the record when they get things wrong, campaign for better information in public life and develop new technology to counter misleading claims. We have been developing technology to help increase the speed, scale and impact of fact checking. We are not trying to replace fact checkers with technology, but rather to empower fact checkers with the best tools. After talking with many fact checkers, we’ve identified three key areas we can use technology to help:
(1) Know the most important thing to be fact checking each day
(2) Know when someone repeats something they already know to be false
(3) Check things in as close to real-time as possible
In this talk, I will describe the tools we are building and the technology behind them, from simple keyword matching through information retrieval algorithms and large language models. I’ll also describe some of the journey we’ve been on through the development process.
Dr. David Corney
PhD in Machine Learning
New Frontiers in Tools for Fact-Checkers
Dr. Scott Hale
Dr Scott A. Hale is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the OII and a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. He develops and applies techniques from computer science to research questions in the social sciences. His research seeks to see more equitable access to quality information and investigates the spread of information between speakers of different languages online, the roles of bilingual Internet users, collective action and mobilization, hate speech, and misinformation.
Scott graduated with degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Spanish from Eckerd College, FL, USA. During his time at Eckerd, he published computer science research in the area of image processing while working on a larger research project, Darwin, to uniquely identify dolphins from digital photographs. After graduating, he worked in Okinawa, Japan, at the Okinawa Prefectural Education Centre with public school teachers to develop English immersion curricula and with IT professionals to deliver continuing education training through the Internet to staff members and students on outlying islands. He came to the OII as a master’s candidate in October 2009 and completed his DPhil (PhD) at the department in 2015. His DPhil research concentrated on how the design of social media platforms affects the amount of information shared across language divides.
Dr. David Corney
Dr David Corney joined Full Fact in 2019 as a data scientist specialising in natural language processing. He helps bring AI into Full Fact’s tools to better support fact checkers and other colleagues. This includes training large language models; training regular machine learning models; gathering and annotating data; and working closely with academics. David completed his PhD in machine learning 20 years ago and has spent the intervening time working in academia and for tech startups. He has developed numerous tools to analyse news articles, social media and other sources of text, as well as projects in visual neuroscience and botanical imaging.
Shalini Joshi is a Program Director for Asia Pacific at Meedan. As a regional lead, Shalini is involved in expanding Meedan’s work and its global network in the Asia Pacific region. Shalini provides support to fact-checkers, newsrooms and academics involved in addressing and researching misinformation.
Shalini is also the co-founder of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only independent, digital news network available to viewers in remote rural areas and small towns.
Bias/Fairness in Dis-/Misinformation Studies
Dr. Rachel Moran
Rachel Moran is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington’s Information School. She received her doctoral degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalist at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the role of trust in digital information environments and is particularly concerned with how trust is implicated in the spread of mis- and disinformation. Her research has been published in Information, Communication & Society, Digital Journalism, Journalism Practice, Media, Culture & Society and Telecommunications Policy. She has a BA and an MA in Social and Political Science from Cambridge University and an MA in Political Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is also a Fellow at the George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics.
Dr. Sukrit Venkatagiri
Sukrit Venkatagiri is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. Starting Fall 2023, he will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Swarthmore College.
He designs and evaluates sociotechnical systems to combat mis- and disinformation. To build these systems, he works with professional investigators — such as journalists, researchers, and human rights activists — as well as content moderators.
In his research, he takes a mixed-methods approach that draws upon my training in computer science and human–computer interaction. He first conducts qualitative inquiry to understand professional work practice and collective action “in the wild.” Next, he builds social computing and crowdsourcing tools to augment this work. He then empirically evaluates these tools through experiments, log analysis, user studies, and longitudinal deployments.
His work has been published in ACM CSCW, ACM CHI, AAAI HCOMP, and the Journal of Librarianship & Information. In the past, he has interned at Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft Research.
Angie Drobnic Holan is the editor-in-chief of the Poynter Institute’s Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website PolitiFact. She is currently on leave as a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, studying journalism’s ability to influence the preservation of democracy. She is an expert on fact-checking election campaigns and the federal government, as well as debunking online misinformation. She serves on the advisory board of the International Fact-Checking Network. She holds dual master’s degrees in journalism and library science and is a graduate of the Plan II program at the University of Texas at Austin.