Silicon Valley Expat Uses Artificial Intelligence to Grade & Measure Online Articles
Otherweb Logo2.jpgOtherweb is looking to bring back journalistic integrity and filter out “fake news” and misinformation that has become so prevalent in today’s fast-moving information world. The platform, which just debuted on Product Hunt, was designed by tech executive and Silicon Valley expat, Alex Fink.
“The constant competition for clicks and views results in a downward pressure on writing quality. Editorial standards often fall by the wayside,” says Fink. “The problem is that if you measure success in clicks and views, there is no financial incentive to optimize for anything else.”
Otherweb looks to help journalists align their incentives to the incentives of their readers. It measures writing quality along multiple dimensions and makes sure that higher quality leads to a larger number of clicks and views. Otherweb uses a set of AI models (called “ValuRank”) that analyzes text along multiple dimensions – informativity, subjectivity, formality, offensiveness, hatefulness, external references, source diversity, clickbait headlines, use of known propaganda techniques, and more. The ValuRank AI doesn’t attempt to define what quality is; instead, it provides a nutrition label for content, just as the FDA requires a nutrition label for packaged food products
While the nutrition label systematically breaks down the quality of the information, what it does not do is take sides. ValuRank does nothing to filter political leanings in either direction, keeping any agendas or viewpoints intact, though editorials and opinion pieces will generally score lower than factual news reports. All of its models and datasets are open-source and posted in a public repository, so if anyone suspects a partisan bias they are welcome (encouraged, even) to open the code and see for themselves.
Fink is so confident in Otherweb’s neutrality, that he is willing to offer a $1000 bounty to anyone who is able to identify a consistent political bias in any of its AI models. “In today’s divisive atmosphere, it’s important to us that we present the most impartial set of data possible,” he says. “Only then can we truly focus on quality rather than positioning, and let journalistic integrity take over again.”
To use Otherweb, users can just go to otherweb.com and, optionally, register to let the system synchronize their preferences across multiple devices. The platform allows users to read news articles from over 100 sources, and to filter them by minimal quality score, by category, or by preferred sources. Each article comes with a nutrition label and a bullet-point summary that allows the reader to decide whether they want to consume the entire article before they commit the time to do so.
“Otherweb is looking to put the power of information in the hands of the consumers,” says Fink. “By creating a standard that journalists must live up to, we are holding them accountable for their work and creating an environment that is free of sensationalism and misinformation.”
To view the Otherweb’s launch on Product Hunt, you can visit www.producthunt.com/posts/otherweb.
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A Race to the Bottom Where Quality is Sacrificed For Attention & Engagement
Why We Are Being Bombarded by Noise, Junk, Spam & Propaganda
How We Can Improve the Quality of Information by Measuring It
How We Plan to Slowly Nudge the Entire Ecosystem to “Price” Information Quality
How Silicon Valley Deranged the World
How We Can Disrupt Silicon Valley the Same Way It Disrupted Traditional Media.
Alex Fink was born in the Soviet Union and raised in Israel. After traveling through 40 countries and living in Japan for a year, he settled in Silicon Valley and began a 15-year career as a tech executive in a variety of startups.
Alex decided that instead of contributing to the problem created by Silicon Valley over the years, he would rather build the solution using their own methods. He moved to Austin, rolled up his sleeves, and a few years later the Otherweb was born.
Otherweb’s mission is to improve the quality of information at every stage of its lifecycle – creation, distribution, consumption and monetization. It views the quality of information that people consume as the most important input to people’s ability to make good decisions and act rationally.
In the near future, Otherweb plans to launch a new information-centered platform, which will allow people to consume high-quality information without junk, clickbait, eye-catchers, link farms, partisan eco-chambers and other forms of digital noise.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:www.otherweb.com