Humanities students from VNS College Konni and Calicut University, engineering students from the Tinkerhub Community, along with senior AI/ ML engineers from the industry will join forces to take part in a 36-hour ‘HackFake Hackathon’ at TinkerSpace, Kochi, on November 11 and 12, 2023.
The hackathon being organised by Citizen Digital Foundation (CDF) and the Tinkerhub Foundation, marks a pivotal moment addressing the critical need for innovative solutions to tackle misinformation, particularly in Indian vernacular languages.
The 36-hour hackathon will attempt to create a fact-checking aid for Malayalam text-based news, which could help with partial screening of news reports, and aid journalists and fact-checkers in Malayalam news media as well as researchers in the space. The hackathon will also serve to highlight the need, and open avenues for further discourse in building vernacular-based solutions for tackling misinformation. Additionally, it also aims to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to explore innovative, collaborative solutions for similar techno-social problems and embrace more careers within the ‘Responsible Tech’ space.
The tool will be designed using Machine Learning techniques to identify patterns in language and content that indicate mis, dis and mal information. The knowledge database for the tool has been annotated by humanities’ students of VNS College, Konni and Calicut University, based on various fact-checking criteria advised by participating media partners. Senior AI/ML engineers from the industry will work alongside the participants during the 36-hour hackathon to ensure quality and minimum viability of the outcomes.
It is also significant to note that the kit will remain open source for researchers and news organisations to research and further build upon, cementing the collaborating organisations’ commitment to ensuring further developments in the space.
Tinkerhub and CDF continue to recognize the importance of technology in creating a more informed and responsible society and are committed to leveraging it for the advancement and well-being of society.