University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Language Technology Lab Seminars > Detect – Verify – Communicate: Combating Misinformation with More Realistic NLP

Detect – Verify – Communicate: Combating Misinformation with More Realistic NLP

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Dealing with misinformation is a grand challenge of the information society directed at equipping the computer users with effective tools for identifying and debunking misinformation. Current Natural Language Processing (NLP) including its fact-checking research fails to meet the expectations of real-life scenarios. In this talk, we show why the past work on fact-checking has not yet led to truly useful tools for managing misinformation, and discuss our ongoing work on more realistic solutions. NLP systems are expensive in terms of financial cost, computation, and manpower needed to create data for the learning process. With that in mind, we are pursuing research on detection of emerging misinformation topics to focus human attention on the most harmful, novel examples. Automatic methods for claim verification rely on large, high-quality datasets. To this end, we have constructed two corpora for fact checking, considering larger evidence documents and pushing the state of the art closer to the reality of combating misinformation. We further compare the capabilities of automatic, NLP -based approaches to what human fact checkers actually do, uncovering critical research directions for the future. To edify false beliefs, we are collaborating with cognitive scientists and psychologists to automatically detect and respond to attitudes of vaccine hesitancy, encouraging anti-vaxxers to change their minds with effective communication strategies.

This talk is part of the Language Technology Lab Seminars series.

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