a group of professors is using taxpayer dollars doled out by the federal government to develop a new misinformation fact-checking tool called “Course Correct.”
National Science Foundation funding, awarded through a pair of grants from 2021 and 2022, has amounted to more than $5.7 million for the development of this tool, which, according to the grant abstracts, is intended to aid reporters, public health organizations, election administration officials, and others to address so-called misinformation on topics such as U.S. elections and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
This $5.7 million in grant money is on top of nearly another $200,000 awardedin 2020 through a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act-funded NSF grant for a project focused in part on mental health that Course Correct is said to have grown out of.
According to the abstract of the 2021 grant, Course Correct’s developers, a group of five professors from various institutions nationwide, are using techniques related to machine learning and natural language processing to identify social media posts pertaining to electoral skepticism and vaccine hesitancy, identify people likely to be exposed to misinformation in the future, and flag at-risk online communities for intervention.
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