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Washington Post Robo App Fact Checks Speeches In Real-Time

The prototype aims to spot any false claims made by politicians during speeches, TV ads, or interviews.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on January 30, 2013.

We saw a little bit of real-time fact checking during the election, and now The Washington Post has launched a news application that aims to spot false claims made during speeches and interviews. ‘Truth Teller‘ shows how traditional news organizations can adapt and become a more integral part of the story in the changing, real-time nature of news made popular by social media.

Washington Post Launches News App That Fact Checks Speeches In Real-Time

Truth Teller is a prototype that displays either “TRUE” or “FALSE” in real-time next to the video of a politician speaking. TechCrunch reports:

The Knight Foundation-funded Truth Teller program automatically transcribes speeches and checks the statements against a database of well-known facts. For example, when House Speaker John Boehner claims that raising taxes on the top 2% would kill 700,000 jobs, Truth Teller pops a big red “FALSE” next to him, after cross-checking his statements against The Washington Post‘s own list of curated facts and other popular fact-checker databases.

Truth Teller utilizes several technologies, combining video and audio extraction with a speech-to-text technology to search a database of facts and fact checks. The audio from a video is converted to text and shown beneath as a rough transcript, then the text is matched to The Washington Post’s database, and then it informs viewers in real-time whether what they’ve just heard is true or false. You can watch a demo for Truth Teller below:

Truth Teller

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