Join us for a second evening of thinking together about ways to respond to the tidal wave of disinformation which has become a chronic problem undermining democracy and civil discourse. This last event before the launch of the Counter-Disinformation Innovation (CDI) Competition will focus on the problem-spaces of fact checking, social listening, and identification of fraudulent social media accounts. It also is a chance to share ideas and hear from the organizers of the CDI competition.
The first Counter-Disinformation Innovation challenge funded 3 great tech teams in Georgia to build different tools, two of which you will hear about at this event. We seek motivated and inspired tech teams to build further on this initial work, and next month we will finalize and launch the next challenge with $42,500 to build tools to counter this flood of disinformation and manipulation which floods Georgian social media. Come learn what is happening, meet other great tech and startup leaders and maybe be one of the companies funded in Georgia to build tech tools helpful to truth and Georgia's interest as a nation.
Jonathan Teubner, CEO, FilterLabs.AI
Jonathan is the Founder and CEO of FilterLabs.AI, a data analytics and machine learning company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Teubner is concurrently Visiting Faculty at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, researching the impact of political polarization on the social fabric. He'll speak on the topic of Countering Russian Propaganda: How tech tools are helping
Nini Gvilia, Researcher, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Since 2018, with the focus on information integrity, Nini has been working on monitoring election campaigning, propaganda and foreign influence operations on social media to ensure that citizens and voters in Georgia form their opinion free of manipulation. During her work she has uncovered various election-related malicious activities and contributed to takedowns of malign pages operating on Facebook. She will be talking about the tech tools helping to uncover the truth behind disinformation in social media
David Naroushvili, Research/Project Manager, Grass
David will talk about deplatforming. That is, disinformation actors, due to the expansion of fact-checking on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, have been forced to switch to platforms where they are less likely to be disrupted. For example, well-known pro-Russian actors in Georgia massively switch to Telegram, Vkontakte and Viber and try to expand their own audience there. He will talk about the pros and cons of this process and the challenges that accompany this process in terms of combating misinformation.
William Dunbar, Deputy Chief of Party, Zinc Network
William is the Deputy Chief of Party of the Georgian Information Integrity Program. A dual British and Georgian citizen, prior to joining Zinc Network he has been based in Tbilisi for over a decade working as a journalist, investigative researcher and consultant.
David Janezashvili, CEO, MettaMine
Davit is a data scientist at UN innovation cell, developing AI-powered tools for social media monitoring. He is currently working on comprehensive, open source AI-powered technology to smooth process of detecting disinformation as part of the first Counter-Disinformation Innovation Challenge. David is the winner of the first innovation competition.
Sopho Zambakhidze, Head of Products, Wavetech.ai
Sopho is Head of Products at Wavetech.ai, she has many years of proven experience in tech management, deep learning research and design, and deployment of scalable enterprise software and hardware. Sopho’s main focus is on computer vision and speech processing. Currently she is working on a tool converting audio-video content to text format, that can identify specific disinformation keywords, funded by the CDI Challenge.
The Georgia Information Integrity Program, funded by USAID and implemented by Zinc Network is an ambitious, experimental program that aims to build resilience to disinformation and propaganda at all levels of Georgian society. It brings together a range of stakeholders to design solutions that disrupt the disinformation ecosystem and change people’s attitudes and behaviors. Where these solutions demonstrate success, we help to scale and adapt them – through funding, hands-on support and access to our network – so that they have maximum impact.
The Georgia Information Integrity Program has taken a pioneering approach in involving Georgia’s emerging tech sector in the fight against disinformation, founding and launching the Counter Disinformation Innovation Competition together with our partner Startup Grind. The Competition sees tech companies work with CSOs to build powerful tools to resist disinformation, with teams competing to design solutions to specific Challenges. The first Competition resulted in the creation of three powerful tools: a social media analysis tool, Georgian language speech-to-text transcription, and a public database aggregator platform that provides speed and reliability to researchers and journalists fighting disinformation and corruption. As well as a unique example of private sector/CSO collaboration, the tools already have the potential to become internationally successful.