Digital disinformation is one of the major contemporary global concerns, affecting the smooth operation of open democratic societies in many levels. And although technology has been abused for the creation of deceptive content, there is still room to exploit it in order to effectively detect manipulations and forgeries, therewith countering disinformation.
Athens Technology Center (ATC), a global leader in designing, providing and supporting high-end software solutions for the media industry, timely acknowledged the rise of the disinformation phenomenon. Hence, the company has significantly invested in developing fact-checking tools, such as the Truly Media platform (co-developed with Deutsche Welle).
Within this spectrum, ATC joins another EU-driven initiative to develop and build trustworthy AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions in the fight against disinformation. The vera.ai project (VERification Assisted by Artificial Intelligence) aims to build solutions that can be used by the widest possible community such as journalists, investigators, researchers and such like, while also setting the foundations for future research and development in the area of Artificial Intelligence against disinformation.
The project’s scope
The project seeks to build professional trustworthy AI solutions against advanced disinformation techniques, co-created with and for media professionals and researchers and to also set the foundation for future research in the area of AI against disinformation. Key novel characteristics of the AI models will be fairness, transparency, robustness against concept drifts, continuous adaptation to disinformation evolution through a fact-checker-in-the-loop approach, and the ability to handle multimodal and multilingual content. Recognizing the perils of AI-generated content, the team will also develop tools for deepfake detection in all formats (audio, video, image, text).
Our role in the project
ATC coordinates the development of vera.ai’s user-facing tools aiming to bring the AI-based research results to end-users from the media industry, social sciences, and other stakeholders like OSINT investigators. ATC is also responsible for the integration of state-of-the-art AI-based tools into Truly Media, through which these results will be made accessible to the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) and its communities. Furthermore, ATC will exploit its technical expertise to improve and enhance its social listening services, by conducting research and development in the area of identifying and tackling coordinated sharing behavior taking advantage of the latest advances in network science.
The vera.ai legacy
The project follows on from previous projects projects where ATC’s Innovation Lab, the company’s dedicated R&D team has actively participated and worked, such as InVID (2016-2018), WeVerify (2018-2021) and Digger (2019 – 2020).
Vera.ai kick-off meeting was held in Greece, under the supervision of the Informatics Research Institute (ITI-CERTH), which is also the project’s coordinator.