By Aaron Miller-
Twitter has announced its success in acquiring a start-up that claims to identify “fake news” quickly. The giant social media company announced on Monday that it was acquiring Fabula AI, a London-based company that uses algorithms and machine learning to identify fake news.
The news itself is yet to be verified as more legitimate than the fake news it purports to be capable of both identifying and blotting out from its platform, but will be given the benefit of the doubt at this early stage. After the success of its founders in establishing a globally used platform that has seen it rake in astronomical profits over the years, twitter has been under sustained political pressure to keep its platform safe from poisonous information that threaten legitimate democracy and compromises the integrity of national elections.
It has also suffered criticism for the copious amount of harassment and internet trolls that have long perverted a platform intended for healthy conversation. Fake news, which represents misleading or fabricated news that is both deliberately or accidentally spread has become the term used to signify corrupted information spread online. It is sometimes also detected in mainstream media to the shame of various editors and journalists, but has been more notoriously present on social media platforms.
Twitter has expressed confidence that the acquisition of Fabula will enable the building out its internal machine learning capabilities, stating that the UK startup’s “world-class team of machine learning researchers” will feed an internal research group it’s building out, led by Sandeep Pandey, its head of ML/AI engineering. Twitter added that the research group will focus on “a few key strategic areas such as natural language processing, reinforcement learning, ML ethics, recommendation systems, and graph deep learning” — now with Fabula co-founder and chief scientist, Michael Bronstein, as a leading light within it.
The announcement from twitter comes after the social media giant came under criticism for a crackdown which involved the suspension of the accounts of numerous Chinese based activists, lawyers, and human rights activists. Twitter said the move was a routine one to target potential platform manipulation, an action whose moral objective does not excuse the accidental subjection of innocent users to unnecessary and unjustified deprivation of their social media platform.
In an apology for their error, twitter said it was working today to ensure they ”overturn any errors but that we remain vigilant in enforcing our rules for those who violate them.”
VentureBeat claims they are capable of tracking how content spreads online, and allocating an authenticity score. The London based company is to join athe Twitter Cortex machine learning team.
“As this technology detects the spread pattern, it is language Fabula has developed the ability to analyse “very large and complex data sets” to detect network manipulation and can identify patterns that other machine-learning techniques can’t, according to Agrawal.
The startup claims to have created a “truth-risk scoring platform” to identify misinformation. It will utilise data from sources including Snopes and PolitiFact.ge and locale independent. The company says it can be used even when the content is encrypted,” . It added: “We also believe that such an approach, given it is based on the propagation pattern through huge social networks, is far more resilient to adversarial attacks.”
Twitter said it has created a research group led by Sandeep Pandey, head of machine learning/AI engineering, to focus on such areas as natural-language processing, reinforcement learning, machine-learning ethics, recommendation systems, and graph deep learning. Founded in April 2018, Fabula is led by chief scientist Michael Bronstein and chief technologist Federico Monti, who began collaborating together while at Switzerland’s University of Lugano.
Bronstein is currently the chair in machine learning and pattern recognition at Imperial College London and will remain in that position while leading graph deep learning research at Twitter.
Fabula’s chief technologist, Federico Monti, whoalso co-founded the collaboration underlying the exclusive technology with Bronstein when at the University of Lugano, Switzerland — is also joining Twitter. He said:
“We are really excited to join the ML research team at Twitter, and work together to grow their team and capabilities. Specifically, we are looking forward to applying our graph deep learning techniques to improving the health of the conversation across the service,” said Bronstein in a statement.
“This strategic investment in graph deep learning research, technology and talent will be a key driver as we work to help people feel safe on Twitter and help them see relevant information,” Twitter added. “Specifically, by studying and understanding the Twitter graph, comprised of the millions of Tweets, Retweets and Likes shared on Twitter every day, we will be able to improve the health of the conversation, as well as products including the timeline, recommendations, the explore tab and the on boarding experience.”