We are delighted to inform you that our project ‘Fighting disinformation using decentralized actors featuring AI and blockchain technologies (FiDisD)’ was created by the consortium led by Gheorghe Asachi Technical University in Iasi, partnering with Cyber Dacians, Cluj IT Cluster, Zetta Cloud, and Digitalio has been chosen to receive funding from the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
FiDisD is a decentralized anti-disinformation tool that can combat effectively the informational war we find ourselves involved in. This platform will provide the user with a quick and straightforward approach to assessing the credibility of news stories and headlines and determine which media outlets are trustworthy in a way that is far more transparent than all present fact-checking systems.
How does FiDisD work?
Cristian Butincu, chief coordinator of the project has mentioned: “At the platform level there are several modules that are based on the human component and the Artificial Intelligence component. The human component part, that crowd wisdom, practically represents human agents who check the news using their own tools (tools – n.r). They can also use tools provided by Artificial Intelligence if they wish. Each human validator will give a certain score for certain news. In parallel, there are AI modules that work as a federation. These AI modules can be written by different entities. Some will be written new, other modules can be written by other companies that develop AI. In turn, they assign a reputation score to the news. Scores are aggregated. In the end, there are two scores: one given by the AI and one given by that crowd wisdom, the masses. When we see certain scores that are very different from the one voted by most components, that reputation will be adjusted for both the people who did the analysis, ie for the human component, and for the AI components. As the score assigned by a particular entity approaches the score that is considered true, its reputation grows. If the score is very different, the reputation will decline. This reputation, over time, can be converted into tokens on the blockchain, which are to be used in trade, monetization, advertising “
Why blockchain? Simple. Blockchain technology guarantees immutability – once information has been placed in the blockchain it can no longer be changed, as well as traceability – we know how that information got there and can be sure that no one was able to alter it.
A lot of content is expected to end up in the blockchain and, once it does, human and AI validators will take care of it. We want to use AI components to gain a time advantage, as AI processes content faster than in the case of human validators, where the whole operation could take hours or days, depending on how many are involved in the platform. Cyber Dacians will ensure the cybersecurity of the general platform and cybersecurity of the blockchain component that will be created to sustain the technology.
Cyber Dacians will also collaborate with information warfare expertise that will allow the project to have a realistic expectation of the malicious influence operations on the internet, creating secure mechanisms that cannot be manipulated by threat actors through Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviours or regular trolls.
With the help of blockchain technology and algorithm analysis, we could also detect not only whether an article is fake news or not, but we also have the possibility to find out the method by which that news was propagated.
We believe that access to new technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, offers incredible opportunities to gain ground in the information war. Our technology will have a huge impact in fighting disinformation, as it is expansible and easily adaptable for all EU nations.
“We are glad to be part of this strategic project for the fight against disinformation. After 5 years of sustained efforts against disinformation through the think-tank created by us, Intel4Patriam, we realize that the phenomenon of disinformation has increased rapidly, both in Romanian society and abroad. Cyber Dacians will contribute to this project with advice on currently used tactics and procedures, cyber security consulting to ensure the security of stored information and users, and the overall innovation process that will take place for the development of a tool with a massive regional impact.
We are at an important intersection of geopolitical interests, which causes an intense confrontation in the digital environment for the control of narratives and feelings. This consortium will position itself at the forefront of the information war front and will use innovative tactics to detect and store data relevant to the fight against disinformation “
– Felix Staicu, CEO & Co-founder of Cyber Dacians.
The project is one of 21 accepted under the third and final open call under TruBlo, a European Project that focuses on a total investment of €4,2 million toward the development of innovative techniques, platforms, and solutions for the next generation internet. For the Innovation stage, each project will be given a lump sum of €75,000. (phase 1). Only 4 of these will proceed to the Progress Phase when an extra €100,000 will be granted.
The acknowledgment and funding of FiDisD by the European Union is a pivotal moment not only in the journey of our company but also in the fight against disinformation around the World. We are more than excited to bring you along the way.