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Behind an Effort to Fact-Check Live News With Speed and Accuracy

WSJ [paywall] – “The Atlanta-based North Highland consultancy’s Sparks Grove unit has created an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven voice-scanning tool that can identify dubious statements seconds after their utterance, in an effort to more accurately fact-check news. Sparks Grove’s prototype “Voyc” software transcribes live audio and runs each statement against a database of facts compiled from verified government sources and accredited fact-checking organizations. Voyc rapidly notes whether a statement conflicts with verified information and sends a pop-up text alert to someone positioned to make further inquiries, highlighting both the sentence at issue and the relevant facts on an Instant Messenger-like interface. Sparks Grove’s Jack Stenson envisions news producers employing Voyc to encourage TV presenters to probe subjects with follow-up questions in interviews, panel discussions, and debates. The software’s developers are refining Voyc’s accuracy when transcribing quirky speech patterns like dialects, pauses, “ums,” and “ahs.”

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