Twitter Acquires AI Startup to Fight Fake News

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Twitter Acquires AI Startup to Fight Fake News

Good news: It’s only a matter of time before Twitter users won’t have to wade through the muck of fake news-bred delirium when logging onto the platform. (Hopefully.)

Twitter announced its acquisition of artificial-intelligence startup Fabula AI as a means to weed out abusive content and improve public conversation on the platform in a blog post Monday afternoon.

Fabula, which analyzes complex datasets to detect network manipulation and malicious behavior, will team up with a research group at Twitter to advance the platform’s machine learning capabilities and work towards the end goal of helping users feel safer on Twitter.

Although the initial focus of the partnership is to improve conversation on the website, the platform will shift their attention to the detection of spam and “other strategic priorities” in the future. The partnership also encompasses the enhancement of several Twitter functions, including the timeline, recommendations, the explore tab and sign-up systems.

Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal stated the Fabula acquisition builds on the platform’s previous investments in machine learning, including Whetlab in 2015, an effort to improve the platform’s internal machine learning efforts, and visual-processing startup Magic Pony in 2016.

Fabula’s team will also join the Twitter Cortex hub of machine-learning engineers, data scientists and researchers.

Further terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the initiative seems like a step in the right direction for a platform whose false news spreads “farther, faster, deeper and more broadly,” and is 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth, according to a 2018 study conducted at MIT.