Chronicle Journal: Finance

HeroX Crowdsourcing Fact Check Challenge Finds Shortfalls in Technology to Combat Fake News

Finalists in Political Influencer Diane Francis' Competition Establish New Automatic Fact Checking Testing Requirements

TORONTO, ON and LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - January 31, 2017) - Award-winning investigative journalist Diane Francis, and leading crowdsourcing technology provider HeroX, today announced the results of the "Fast and Furious Fact Check Challenge" -- an incentive prize competition seeking an automated approach to accurately fact check claims in a fraction of the time a human could.

Competing for up to $50,000 in cash prizes, Fast and Furious Fact Check Challenge contestants were tasked with determining whether a set of fifty pre-determined claims, developed by Independent fact checking charity Full Fact, were true or "fake news."

From a field of more than 80 registrants from 24 countries, two competitors -- Ovidiu Dobre, a computer scientist and CEO of Blue Insight in Romania, and the "Claimbuster" team from the University of Texas at Arlington -- reached the final round of the competition. While both finalists demonstrated measurable advancement in automated fact checking technology and methodologies, a panel of independent judges determined that neither team's submission met the contest's 80% accuracy requirement due to limitations in currently available artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing technologies.

"The Fast and Furious competition has forged an exciting new path for much-needed fact checking technology innovation to combat the dramatic increase in fake news flooding the Internet and social media channels," said Diane Francis. "Even though they weren't able to meet the expected level of fact checking accuracy we need, the contestants produced viable solutions and helped to uncover specific flaws in current technological approaches to the problem. I intend to continue the conversation concerning this crucial issue. I am committed to making automated fact checking a reality and have created a company to incubate and develop these tools."

The 50 claims used to test the Fast and Furious Fact Check Challenge competitor's solutions are available here to anyone interested in the development and advancement of fact checking technology. Innovators in this space are encouraged to contact Diane Francis to discuss further developments.

"The global proliferation of false information and fake news is having a profoundly negative impact on our ability to know what is true," said HeroX CEO, Christian Cotichini. "HeroX crowdsourced challenges are designed to quickly bring about radical business, technological and social innovation to address problems of this enormity. The Fast and Furious Fact Challenge has moved the fact checking needle in the right direction and has paved the way for a breakthrough solution to be found."

About Diane Francis
Diane Francis is an award-winning columnist, bestselling author, investigative journalist and commentator and screenplay writer. Her pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Daily Beast, Politico, the World Post, Miami Herald and she regularly contributes to the New York Post and The Guardian. Diane is also is Editor-at-Large at Canada's National Post and writes for the US Edition of the Huffington Post. She is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC within its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also Adjunct Faculty with Singularity University in Mountain View California, a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, a Member of Advisory Council at Hudson Institute Kleptocracy Initiative, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In 1991, she became Editor of Canada's Financial Post, the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada, a position she held until the paper was sold in 1998.
Twitter: @dianefrancis1

About HeroX
Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration. The HeroX crowdsourcing platform brings together global communities of problem solvers to deliver breakthrough solutions to social, economic, and strategic challenges.
Twitter: @Iamherox

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Media Contact:
Lynda Kaye
Kaye Public Relations for HeroX

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