Fighting disinformation using decentralized actors featuring AI and blockchain technologies
The goal of the FiDisD project is to develop a decentralized anti-disinformation platform that can fight effectively and objectively the informational warfare that we are part of. The core of the platform will be built upon Blockchain technology, Crowd Wisdom, and Federated Artificial Intelligence modules.
At present, trust in mainstream media is lower than ever. In the current media landscape, publications are driven by click-based ad revenue. To increase the number of views (and therefore to increase their income), publications tend to take journalistic shortcuts (like not thoroughly verifying the facts or presenting incomplete information just to be the first to announce some news). In this landscape, even reputable publications tend to favor engagement over clarity. This in turn impacts the readers’ ability to distinguish the truth from disinformation and fake news.
A survey regarding trust in the media (television, radio, written press, internet and social networks) was conducted in 2019 in all 28 EU countries. It was found that 41% of Europeans had medium trust in the media, 40% of the EU citizens had low or no trust in the media at all and only 19% of adults had high trust in the news media. So, the population in general is aware about the media quality and the spread of disinformation and fake news. That was in 2019 and since then, the sensitive geopolitical context further increased the spread of disinformation and fake news.
Currently, there are not enough platforms that can provide valuable and scalable fact-checking. This is in part because their operation is not sustainable for the long term, due to the dependency on paid human interaction.
Given the context, there is a real need for scalable and reliable tools that can be used at the level of society to fight against disinformation and fake news. Also, when developing such tools, there are important questions to consider about who sets the standards, who is responsible for validation, and who manages the entire system. This is where blockchain technology comes into play since its decentralized nature can help address many of these concerns. Most importantly, it provides transparency since it eliminates the need for a single, trusted institution to make these decisions.
The FiDisD project intends to build a decentralized anti-disinformation platform for fact checking and trust assessment based on Blockchain, Crowd Wisdom and AI technologies. This platform will give the end user a simple and objective way to see which media institutions are the most reliable and to check trust on news articles. The proposed model is scalable and can be easily adapted for other EU countries with a huge impact on fighting fake news and disinformation all over Europe.
The team members belong to the following organizations:
“Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi (TUIASI) is among the oldest and best-known higher education institutions in Romania, with an important tradition in engineering, scientific and cultural education, and a thriving presence on the international scene.
Cyber Dacians SRL (CD) is a cybersecurity company that specializes in offensive cybersecurity, threat hunting and its founders also have experience running an anti-disinformation think-tank for 5 years.
Zetta Cloud (ZA Cloud SRL – ZA) is an AI company that provides software solutions for deep understanding of any online content. It develops state of the art Natural Language Processing technology based on Deep Learning and Neural Networks AI.
Digitalio is a news and debate platform dedicated to digitalization, new technologies, crypto space and cybersecurity. Digitalio is edited by Hanis Evimel SRL (HE).
Cluj IT (CJIT) is a cluster and innovation-based organization composed of more than 90 organizations on the IT industry value chain, such as providers of software services and solutions, universities and research institutes, public bodies, and other catalyst organizations.
|Cristian Nicolae Butincu, TUIASI
Expertise: high performance computing, parallel and distributed systems, cloud computing, cybersecurity
|Adrian Alexandrescu, TUIASI
Expertise: parallel and distributed systems, search engines
|Florin Leon, TUIASI
Expertise: artificial intelligence, machine learning, multiagent systems
|Mitica Craus, TUIASI
Expertise: algorithms, high performance computing, parallel and distributed systems
|Silviu Dumitru Paval, TUIASI
Expertise: algorithms, mathematical models
|Robert Gabriel Lupu, TUIASI
Expertise: efficient communication systems
|Catalin Mironeanu, TUIASI
Expertise: database modeling, cybersecurity, computer forensics
|Alexandru Archip, TUIASI
Expertise: data mining, web services, parallel and distributed systems
|Felix Staicu, CD
Expertise: innovation management, cybersecurity, informational warfare
|Tamas Bakos, CD
Expertise: information security, reverse engineering, penetration testing
|Emil Stetco, ZA
AI/NLP engines integration
Expertise: natural language processing engines, artificial intelligence, computer vision
|Gabriel Zamfir, HE
Expertise: national and international mass-media, public relations, communication
|Andrei Nistor, HE
Expertise: mass-media, knowledge management, learning and development
|Stelian Brad, CJIT
Innovation engineering/Blockchain information exchange
Expertise: data science, deep learning, blockchain, innovation management, cybersecurity
|Ciprian Oprisa, CJIT
Cybersecurity and ML
Expertise: algorithms, machine learning, malware detection and classification
|Diana Campian, CJIT
Communications & operational support
The project team has vast experience in the areas of parallel and distributed computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining and cybersecurity. The project manager mentored students in building their own blockchain systems from scratch for their diploma and dissertation theses. Blockchain and artificial intelligence related projects are also found on the list of proposals for diploma and dissertation theses at the TUIASI Computer Department. In the proposed project, the blockchain technology will be integrated with federated artificial intelligence modules. The project team also has vast experience in developing AI solutions, with one of the partners, Zetta Cloud, pioneering fake news detection algorithms and AI NLP solutions.