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Full Fact wins Google grant to develop automated fact check tools

Fact-checking charity Full Fact has won funding from Google to develop online tools for use in the fight against so-called “fake news”.

The money will go towards software that could power its trend monitor, which tracks repetitions of a false claim, and a tool that spots claims in video subtitles, showing responses to the claim or checking it on the spot.

The charity is collaborating with three other organisations on the project: Africa Check, Chequeado and the Open Data Institute.

Together they will receive a $2m (£1.53m) grant over three years, but have yet to finalise how the pot will be divided up between them. Google AI experts will also coach the group.

Full Fact said in a blog that it would “use artificial intelligence to dramatically improve and scale global fact-checking efforts, working with international experts to define how artificial intelligence could transform this work, developing new tools and deploying and evaluating them”.

“We’ll help media outlets, civil society, platforms and public policy makers worldwide understand how AI can help people decide what information to trust, and bring the benefit of automated fact-checking tools to everyone.”

Full Fact added that within three years it hoped the project would allow internet users to “enable policy-makers to better understand how they can respond to misinformation while robustly protecting free speech”.

The money has come from the Google AI Impact Challenge, a $25m ($19m) fund set up by the US tech giant to pay towards socially useful tools powered by AI.

Google received 2,602 applications to the fund from 119 countries this year with only 20 approved for a grant. Grant winners are set to meet in San Francisco next week.

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