The Optimist Citizen

MIT Graduate develops an algorithm that lets you authenticate news ‘Logically’

Indian-Origin-Engineer based in UK Lyric Jain built Logically, a platform to test how authentic a piece of news is. Any user can verify a source of rousing information through the eclectic process offered by this platform.

The Problem of Fake News

We are oblivious to how much an attractively formatted WhatsApp message forwarded by close contact can affect our social and political understanding. In these times our fragile comprehension of all worldly phenomena relies largely on the people-driven mainstream social media. Our immunity to “fake news” is inevitably and unfortunately lowered and the line between smoke and fire is dangerously thinned. People who benefit from the pliable vulnerability of the population are abundant- from charlatans to mavericks; the spreading of caustic misinformation can be born out of ignorance, dogmatism or propagandist intentions.

Both light-heartedly clickbait and subtly inaccurate or manipulative news articles are a dime a dozen in this era of instant messaging. A single click can cause a ripple effect. A wave that sometimes ruins a career and reputation, in some sad cases even claiming their lives. A grave example is how rumours of supposed child abduction can be twisted and used to hunt down innocent people. The infamous Indian WhatsApp lynching lists forty-six confirmed deaths on Wikipedia and forty-three cases of critical injuries.

Indian-Origin-Engineer based in UK Lyric Jain built Logically, a platform to test how authentic a piece of news is.

Enter Logically!

Lyric Jain, 23, witnessed how fake news can augment an already volatile situation. Especially the wildfire that plagued the UK during Brexit and the USA during the 2016 election. He noticed how public discourse heavily relied on ambiguous and unreliable news. The source of these stories played on pre-existing bias and doubt. Lyric used his technology skills to start Logically, a machine learning algorithm that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to authenticate a piece of news. It does so by assessing its salient features like the quality of the source, accuracy of the content and statistics, logical fallacy, political bias and the overall sentiment of the article. It further provides a human-driven fact-checking technology, which is developed in line with the International standards set by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). A user can feed in any suspicion rousing information into the system and get it cross-checked.

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Scale of Success

Logically essentially runs on grants given by various organizations, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Lyric recently graduated from. The start-up is still in its baby years and is yet to gain ground in India. Yet, the Indian version of the app has seen significant since its launch. As Logically has made an impressive 30,000 claimed verifications up till now. Besides, every article processed by AI contributes to improving its working mechanism. The rapidly growing team is working actively to incorporate graphic formats in its verification process. The next step of the team is to expand the reach of the app.

Indian-Origin-Engineer based in UK Lyric Jain built Logically, a platform to verify a piece of news using an eclectic AI-based process.

While Logically serves well as a Litmus Test, we must heighten our defences to inflammatory and misleading writings. Because if we are to find our way in the patchwork of opinions our society operates on instead of playing the fool. We can safely argue that a well-informed population is intrinsic to a democracy and a misinformed population is equally detrimental. It may be well worth our time to approach all “Breaking News” Logically.

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