Computer science professor Sherif Saad has helped to design a computer algorithm that identify fake news stories.

Professor Claims 98% Success Rate in Spotting Fake News

A professor at the University of Windsor seeks to build the “ultimate truth finder.”

“Fake news is getting more international attention, especially in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when we saw fake news stories shared millions of time on social media,” says Dr. Saad, computer science professor.“We are teaching the computer to distinguish between truth and fiction by giving it known examples, real and fake, until the algorithm develops sensors so it can work on its own in the future,” he says.

Computer scientist Sherif Saad says fake news is a major international problem that is continuing to grow, but help is one the way. Saad and his research team started by feeding articles that have already been deemed real or fake, into a computer program and wrote an algorithm to create “learning models.” Essentially, they are teaching the computer model how to analyze, interpret and predict which stories are true, and which are false.

These machine learning techniques created an algorithm that, in the future, can be fed stories on the learned topic to successfully pick out fake news from legitimate stories. The team started with a combination of news articles from a range of years with a broad variety of political topics. It took 1,000 articles of truth and 1,000 articles of fake news to begin the learning.

Sara Elliot’s story for the University of Windsor states that each time the algorithm was turned loose on a new subject, it had to first be allowed to machine learn all over again about the subject. It takes time and is expensive, according to Saad.

Saad co-authored the paper Detection of Online Fake News Using N-Gram Analysis and Machine Learning Techniques, published as part of a conference notes series from the International Conference on Intelligent, Secure and Dependable Systems in Distributed and Cloud Environments.

Though the program will take time to perfect, Saad, and others around the world aare seeking to create an algorithm that will take the guess work and the “fake news” out of internet usage.

read more at uwindsor.ca