Fighting online disinformation: HU participates in EU project AI4debunk

The research group Smart Systems for Healthy Living is joining forces with thirteen partners to fight disinformation in the research project: AI4debunk. This four-year programme, funded by the European Union through the Horizon Europe Programme, brings together a consortium of thirteen partners from eight countries to curb the proliferation of disinformation and fake news through AI-based tools.

In recent years, the spread of disinformation has become a growing problem across Europe. The use of the internet and social media has facilitated the spread of fake news and propaganda, greatly influencing public opinion. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The four-year AI4Debunk project is tackling this.

Protecting democratic values

The AI4Debunk project aims to protect democratic values and promote an informed society. The partners in the project will work together to develop advanced AI tools that support citizens' online activity and enable them to make more conscious decisions in the digital age.

Within HU, the research group Smart Systems for Healthy Living will work closely with both the journalism courses and the research group Quality Journalism in Digital Transition. Together, they will start working on developing an API (application programming interface) to define, develop and integrate various AI4Debunk interfaces, including a web plug-in, a collaboration platform, a smartphone app and an augmented reality/virtual reality interface for individuals. The plug-in will be designed for seamless integration with web browsers and social media platforms, and give users instant notifications when they encounter fake news, regardless of the format or source.

Promoting a safe living environment

Franc van der Bent, Electronic Engineering & Design lecturer and researcher at the Smart Systems for Healthy Living lectureship, stresses the importance of their participation in the collaboration: "We are happy to play a role in the AI4Debunk project, using our expertise to develop AI-based interfaces that citizens can use to combat disinformation. It aligns perfectly with our goal of promoting a resilient and safe living environment."

The AI4Debunk project (full name: Participative Assistiva AI-powered Tools for Supporting Trustworthy Online Activity of Citizens and Debunking Disinformation) is a 48-month initiative funded by the European Union through the Horizon Europe programme.

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