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Highlights

  • 02:26 - Fake news and its different categories explained
  • 05:26 - How social media creates a bubble that distorts reality
  • 11:58 - Is it possible to stop fake news from spreading using technology?
  • 33:15 - The challenge of finding African data and content on the Internet
  • 49:04 - Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Automation explained

Over the past 5 years or so, we have witnessed an exponential growth of what is commonly known as fake news to influence not only political discussions online but every aspect of our lives. Some might say that fake news is a victimless offense but as we have come to experience over the years, there are real-life consequences to the rise in misinformation and disinformation that is circulated on the Internet.

There have been several suggestions on how we can stop fake news. Some have pushed for the use of fact-checking services while others have stated that emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be used to identify and stop fake news.

In this episode, I spoke to Dr. Vukosi Marivate who is a Data Scientist to understand some of the methods being used to identify and attempt to stop the distribution of misinformation and disinformation.

Vukosi also takes some time to explain the difference between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and what they are usually confused with - Automation.

Biography: Dr. Vukosi Marivate

Dr. Vukosi Marivate holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. He also holds an MSc; BSc in Electrical Engineering from Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vukosi currently is based at the University of Pretoria as the ABSA Chair of Data Science. His main focus and areas of work are focussed on developing Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence methods to extract insights from data. A large part of that work over the last few years has been in the intersection of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (due to the abundance of text data and need to extract insights).

He has worked on projects in science, energy, public safety, and utilities. Dr. Marivate is also an organizer of Deep Learning Indaba, the largest Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence workshop on the African continent, aiming to strengthen African Machine Learning.

Podcast notes

Twitter: Dr. Vukosi Marivate.

Linkedin: Dr. Vukosi Marivate.

Organization: Rutgers University.

Organization: University of Pretoria.

Article: MEET PROFESSOR MARWALA, THE COMPUTER WHIZZKID by Vuk'uzenzele.

Article: The (almost) complete history of 'fake news' by the BBC.

Article: Influence of fake news in Twitter during the 2016 US presidential election by Nature.

Article: The Guptas, Bell Pottinger and the fake news propaganda machine by TimesLIVE.

Article: Is Boris Johnson really trying to game Google search results? by WIRED.

Website: AfricaCheck.

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