Ever since social media entered the scene in the 2000s, the challenge of fake news increased across the world. While negative propaganda had always existed, social media has provided an inexpensive and quicker means of spreading lies or half-truths.
Angolan startup Simpluz Tecnologias is helping to combat fake news on the continent with it’s artificial intelligence-powered platform Nuxo which uses a machine-learning algorithm to empower users across the globe to quickly and accurately identify fake news.
The Luanda-based startup joins the list African startups using Artificial Intelligence AI to drive the transformation of the continent.
Simpluz Tecnologias, which created news aggregator Manifexto in 2017, has a history of combating fake news. However, with the rise of fake news and the time-consuming nature of fact-checking, it chose to switch from the conventional technique of fact-checking stories to an automated one.
Nuxo, a simple tool to fight the spread of fake news, was created to this effect. Anyone irrespective of their location can use the platform to analyse news in practically any language. Available for free on Facebook as part of the Facebook Zero programme.
The only thing Nuxo requires is a link to a news item. Users provide a link, which Nuxo analyses to see if it’s false news. The platform was first trained on a database of over 10,000 news items, all of which had been pre-classified as true or fake.
“After analysing all of them, the algorithm identified a pattern, something that humans cannot do. With this, an analysis base is created, and from then on, each news article that is processed and analysed has its result incorporated into the algorithm, thus allowing the machine to learn. This means that the more news being analysed by Nuxo, the more efficient, accurate and necessary it becomes,” said Zedilson de Almeida, general manager of Simpluz Tecnologias.
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