What is automated factchecking and how will it work?

17 February 2017 | Tom Hegarty

Automated factchecking is now within reach and Full Fact is leading the march towards a more accurate, less confused and better informed world. 

Imagine that one day soon you're watching PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn gets to his feet and announces across the dispatch box that poverty in the UK is going up. Theresa May stands and replies that, on the contrary, poverty is actually decreasing.

Automated factchecking would be able to tell you straight away that there's more than one measure of assessing poverty, so the source that the Prime Minister is referring to can say poverty is going down while Jeremy Corbyn's measure suggests it's increasing. They're talking past each other.

Instead of having to work out that complex arrangement afterwards, automated factchecking would explain that in seconds.

Last week, Full Fact's Digital Products Manager Mevan Babakar gave a talk on automated factchecking at the Newsrewired event, hosted by Journalism.co.uk at the Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf, London. 

The talk, which you can listen to below, sets out the background, goals and practical applications for Full Fact's automated factchecking project: 'FACTS: Factchecking Automation and Claim Tracking System' on which Mevan is the project lead. 

Here are Mevan's slides from the day:

And a short interview Mevan did with the Newsrewired staff after her talk:

 We will have more announcements about our international collaborations and other automated factchecking work in the coming weeks and months - so watch this space.

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