CEO Rula Awad tells us about AI Poli’s aspirations for Data Pitch and beyond.
Describe your Data Pitch challenge idea
Businesses and governments have always relied on news to help them make informed decisions on strategy and policy-making. The problem is that whilst the nature of news has changed, how businesses and governments collect, score and interpret news has not. This leads to poor decision-making based on misinformation in the news.
AI Poli helps businesses and governments overcome these challenges. Our platform combines natural language processing and machine learning to help them collect, score and interpret the news that matters to them.
What does the idea set out to achieve?
The internet has changed the news. Anyone can produce it, anyone can distribute it and anyone can consume it. News can be biased and fake. It can lean towards extremism and hate, as well as inciting division in society.
The problem is that we often don’t know who is distributing disinformation and why. Social media has democratised and commodified information networks. Governments, businesses and individuals can pay to spread news that supports their narrative. In the wrong hands however, this distribution can be weaponised with malicious intent.
We live in civilised democracies that should uphold a free and competitive media ecosystem. We cannot shut down or curtail the means of news distribution. We absolutely champion press freedom. But this makes stopping malicious entities from producing ‘news’ that supports their narrative, or even buying distribution on social media, a very difficult task.
AI Poli aims to make news consumption a more transparent process for your organisation. Our mission is to help you discover the forces in the media that shape your organisation.
What makes your idea different or unique?
We understand that solving fake news is a difficult task. Malicious entities will always evolve and find new ways to produce and distribute news that supports their narrative and disrupts a healthy political discourse. We give the user the tools to understand what is being produced, who it is being produced by, who is distributing it and how, who is consuming it and its impact.
Where did the idea come from?
We rely on news to make decisions that impact our lives and the lives of others. Information of poor quality leads to uninformed decision-making, which can lead to unfavourable outcomes overall. Unless we can make informed decisions based on facts, as well as understand the bigger picture, we risk the rise of a plethora of social problems, such as polarisation, extremism, and populism. Similarly, for businesses the ramifications of fake news could damage their reputations or their revenue.
We believe that with the right tools we can add a layer of depth and perspective on news stories, to make informed decision-making that positively impact our lives and others possible. This in turn will create a better and more informed society for everyone.
What excites you about the challenge you applied for?
Being given the opportunity to combine our three passions: politics, the media and artificial intelligence.
What’s the best thing about working with data?
Uncovering hidden insights and being able to simulate observations from the world around us in a fast, scalable and intelligent manner. Ironically, it is quite a creative process.
Anything else you want to tell us about your startup and why you do what you do?
We are a group of political scientists turned machine learning and natural learning processing engineers with an insatiable curiosity for the construction of political narratives. We have a strong passion for tinkering with algorithms and understanding language. Our drive to perfect natural language processing algorithms drove us to found AI Poli with a mission to discover the media forces that move our world.