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Prototype developed at INESC TEC receives funding from Google

The Stop PropagHate prototype, developed at INESC TEC, will receive funding from the Digital News Initiative (DNI) innovation fund of Google.

21st December 2017

Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe and its goal is to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation. Within this context, the DNI Innovation Fund was created in October 2015, with 150 million euros.

During the event of the fourth round of assigning funding, which took place in London, the 102 winning projects were announced, from 685 applications. In total, 20.4 million euros will be provided to support news innovation projects, making the total amount of investment so far increase to 94 million. In this group of winners, there is a Portuguese project belonging to INESC TEC.

It is called Stop PropagHate and it consists of an Application Programming Interface (API) supported by machine learning techniques that intends to help companies to not only automatically identify if the comments in their news have hate speech, but also what’s the probability of their news articles generating comments containing hate speech.

This prototype will receive €49,804 of funding under the DNI Fund.

The concept came from the continuation of the master’s thesis of Paula Fortuna, researcher at the Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG) of INESC TEC and grantee in the FourEyes project (Intelligence, Interaction, Immersion and Innovation for Media Industries).

The thesis, under the theme of automatic detection of hate speech, was developed within the scope of a Bachelor’s Grant supported by INESC TEC. Sérgio Nunes, auxiliary professor at the Department of Computer Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, and researcher at INESC TEC, supervised the grant and pointed towards the importance of applying hate speech detection to journalism, thus enabling the continuation of the project and the application to the DNI Innovation Fund.

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.