An MIT Media Lab grad student is working on a piece of software that will highlight if a news article is real or if it makes false claims.Dan Schultz, the creator of this innovative application calls it the 'truth goggles' and it's his belief that internet users can greatly benefit from since it will be able to instantly determine if certain affirmations are true, without having to do further documenting on the matter.
“I’m very interested in looking at ways to trigger people’s critical abilities so they think a little bit harder about what they’re reading…before adopting it into their worldview,” Schultz told Nieman Journalism Lab.
However he wants to clarify that the tool will not detect lies on its own, instead it compares words and phrases that show up in PolitiFact's database, mostly relying on the research done by the site's operators.
“It’s not just deciding what’s bull***. It’s deciding what has been judged. In other words, it’s picking out things that somebody identified as being potentially dubious,” he says.
Speaking in terms of functionality, the software utilizes natural language processing, once a branch of artificial intelligence, that now tries to make the linguistic interaction between computers and humans as good as possible.
By taking natural language and turning it into mathematical space, a computer is able to find associations on its own, developing something very similar to a human's common sense.
From an internet security point of view, this application can be adapted to do far greater things than to just determine if what politicians say is true.
It could be placed into internet browsers to help users determine if they're faced with a 419 scam, a phishing expedition or even a malicious virus spreading email. There are already enough websites that offer detailed information on the latest such cybercriminal operations and if the framework is present, the rest could be “a walk in the park.”