Under the title “How can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning help us in fighting mis/dis-information?” the Arab Fact-Checkers Network (AFCN) led by ARIJ, hosted the second webinar of the project “Sa7” on February 17, 2022, with over 320 participants via Zoom and 500 viewers on Facebook. The SA7 project is part of the regional program “Qarib”, which is implemented by the French Agency for Media Development (CFI) and funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD).
The webinar was moderated by Samya Ayish, Communications Manager at ARIJ, who hosted Amanda Strydom, Senior Program Manager at Code For Africa. Strydom leads CivicSignal, an initiative that uses machine learning and natural language processing to monitor and control the media in Africa. In the webinar, Amanda focused on “Machine Learning” methods and the importance of having a large, sufficient, and error-free data set to feed the machines effectively and beneficially.
Furthermore, Amanda introduced participants to a number of artificial intelligence tools that specialise in fact-checking and explained how they work, using examples from her previous work in African countries.
The webinar demonstrated interaction between the trainer and the participants, who asked questions about AI verification tools and the challenges they face as journalists and fact checkers.
It is worth noting that the “Sa7” project aims to promote best practices, methodologies, and tools for fact checking in the Arab region, particularly in four countries facing political, economic, and security challenges and where public trust in the media is diminishing, which are; Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq.