Indian origin entrepreneur’s start-up fights fake news

Mysore boy sets special plans for India


July 23, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

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A student at the Cambridge University has set up Logically, a start-up to fight the spread of fake news. With the help of artificial and human intelligence, the boy hailing from Mysore sets to combat the menace across the globe.

An Indian origin engineering student in the UK is trying to combat fake news around the world with his start-up, by using a machine-learning algorithm.

The start-up which will help filter fact from fiction and for news circulating around the world, has plans of project specifically targeted at India.

Lyric Jain, who hails from Mysore and studies at the Cambridge University, set up Logically last year and has since developed the West Yorkshire-based start-up.

“The Logically platform gathers the biggest news stories from over 70,000 domains and determines the credibility of the claims across each article. It does this by using a machine learning algorithm that is designed to detect logical fallacy, political bias, and incorrect statistics,” the 21-year-old entrepreneur was quoted by Indian media.

“By illuminating the quality of information across these articles, Logically provides users with a transparent and insightful view that allows them to determine how trustworthy the news they read really is,” he said.

The start-up is currently going through technology trials with partners and advisors and will launch in September for the UK and the US, and by October in India.

The service’s aim is to work as a news aggregator as well as an indicator of factual accuracy.

India has a growing number of false messages and news being widely circulated over platforms like WhatsApp, which have come handy to an entire generation of first time technology users.

Spread of such messages in recent past have led to murders making the Information Technology (IT) ministry to direct WhatsApp on taking measures to curtail the spread of fake and provocative messages through its platform.

The start-up will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assess the accuracy and validity of information being circulated.

There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India and with the platform being encrypted, it becomes hard for law enforcement to intervene and stop fake stories from spreading.

“Because of the highly emotive nature of these stories, people are quick to react. This means the time it takes to disprove compelling fake news stories is often too long to prevent action being taken,” Jain said.

“We are still exploring options such as an instant verification chatbot on WhatsApp and will announce our plans by the end of the year,” he said.

Logically has a board of advisers made up of alumni from both Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and Cambridge University in the UK.

The start-up has been able to raise one million pound in funding. It employs 38 people across the UK, India and the US and is planning to almost double that figure.

Working towards his ideology of stopping the dissemination of false news, Jain said, “The technology we are developing will equip people with the tools they need in order to navigate a complex and confusing information landscape better than before, but governments still need to do a better job educating people on the real dangers of interacting with misinformation.”

The platform will use AI and human intelligence along with complex analytics for its objective. Logically is being claimed to have first-of-its-kind “intelligent news feed” that may prove to be the future of journalism.



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