Title: AI for Citizen Intelligent Coaching against Disinformation
Call ID: HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01-27
EU nr: 101070658
Period: 01.09.2022-31.08.2025 (3 years)
Total Budget: 5,734,395 €
VUB Allocated Budget: 560,000 €
“With the digital revolution under way, citizens must be able to make choices where views can be expressed freely. Facts must be distinguished from fiction, and free media and civil society must be able to participate in an open debate, free from malign interference. Therefore, the EU is taking action to make our democracies in the EU more resilient.” Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President (2021)
With this quote TITAN wants to express their ambition to empower citizens against disinformation. We have asked Trisha what TITAN is about? Trisha: “The disinformation phenomenon typically aims at shifting citizen’s attention from accuracy and distracting their ability of critical thinking. If you want to successfully characterize disinformation you not only need to understand whether factual statements are true, but also look into citizens’ ability to interpret and critically assess the arguments and reasoning provided in support of their conclusions. The blame of the spread of fake news is usually put on the average internet user. This mainly because of the average limitation in assessing the impact of statement sharing. Therefore to weaken disinformation campaigns we not only need to make verification technology available-trusted and easy to be used-but we also need to find ways that actively involve citizens in the fight against disinformation”.
Thus, why is it important? Trisha: “Citizens remain weaponless against disinformation. Motivated by the vision for a more resilient, inclusive, trusted, and democratic European society against disinformation, TITAN wants to realize citizen-driven advanced AI ecosystem platforms which delivers cloud-based, ‘trust by design’ AI-based services that seamlessly engage with the citizens’ ‘edge’ devices and intelligently coach. Hereto, TITAN will integrate socio-political, socio-cognitive, psychological aspects in the project that are of particular value to address underlying beliefs and behaviours related to disinformation”.
TITAN delivers an open, distributed and citizen engaging ecosystem which empowers the citizen itself to conduct effective and efficient investigations for understanding whether statements at hand are true. Empowerment is achieved by means of intelligent coaching on the process of investigation. AI-driven, intuitive and personalised ‘question-and-response’ interaction will set the attention of the investigating citizen on the logical interpretation and critical assessment of the implied reasoning and arguments in the statement at hand while directing the citizen in the appropriate use of suitable fact-checking and media literacy tools and services.
By being part of the TITAN ecosystem, the citizen is intelligently coached on how to conduct effective investigations either on his/her own or in collaboration with other concerned citizens. Intelligent coaching conversational schemes are personalised according to the investigating citizen’s profile, digital skills, media literacy skills, possible difficulties in thinking critically as well as the linguistic characteristics of the statement under investigation. The TITAN Ecosystem will be developed following a human-centered approach which will engage diverse groups of citizens in productive co-creation sessions at all project implementation phases.
At the end of such an ‘question-and-response’ interaction cycle, the citizen will have his/her critical thinking and media literacy skills advanced so as to better detect disinformation he/she may encounter in the future at scale.