The fact checking, lie detecting A.I. dApp on Arweave
The sad truth about misinformation
A lot is going on in the world right now, from economic warfare to misinformation, and actual warfare. It’s more than hard to keep up with all of this, it’s actually near impossible. Being able to get all the latest news is hard enough on its own, let alone trying to validate what is real and what is not. The introduction of deep fake AI technology is just one more piece of the misinformation puzzle that plagues our modern technologically advanced society.
Now more than ever it is important for us to focus on the truth, and leave fiction for the George Orwell, Mary Shelley, and Jules Verne novels. Thankfully, some of the greatest minds of today’s society figured out a decentralised way to hold each and every one of us accountable for what is factual and what is not.
The introduction of transactional truth
Back in 2009 when the semi-anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto set out to create the bitcoin network, they created a way for everybody using that network to know what is a real transaction and what is not. This was achieved via computer code that used cryptography at its core to create a blockchain. The blockchain’s network of nodes constantly monitors and checks the entire bitcoin network ledger of transactions for any non-valid transactions.
Financial truth was created with this immutable ledger, and no one was able to cheat the system or misinform others.
Following on, inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto, came Vitalik Buterin, who took the idea of the public blockchain and imagined it as an application layer, rather than just a ledger of transactions. Vitalik Buterin created the Ethereum blockchain for this use case, and soon after many other developers also understood its power. Ethereum used smart contracts to allow for the creation of decentralised applications (dApps). Developers started building not only financial applications, but all sorts of other use cases as well.
It wasn’t long until someone reimagined the idea of blockchain as a storage layer. In 2017, Sam Williams came along and created the Arweave blockchain.
The implementation of data permanence
Arweave has a unique ability that other blockchains don’t necessarily have. Its network of nodes uses physical storage to store data, but at the same time it is also a smart contract utilising blockchain. This means that everything from coding to storage can be achieved in one place without the need to interconnect separate systems for each.
Focusing on the storage use case, we have an immutable way of storing information that can be preserved forever. And due to the way Arweave operates, users only need to pay to upload the data once.
And no information can be deleted at will. Once it’s there, it’s there.
So in a way, this invalidates the famous quote “History is written by victors”, a quote that ironically itself is misattributed to Winston Churchill. So, putting that to practice…
Some months ago, after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the Arweave network set out to store all documents possible that were related to the conflict. Documents from any publication, anywhere. The idea was to help future generations when they look back and try to decipher the truth of what happened for themselves.
Almost 70 million documents about the war in Ukraine have now been permanently stored in the Arweave network.
These records are stored in hundreds of places across the world, backed by an endowment, with no centralized points of failure.
Blockchains are not just for finance. pic.twitter.com/EjYVIYd5PF
— 🐘🔗 sam.arweave.dev (@samecwilliams) May 18, 2022
The move was a powerful reminder that now more than ever we need to do everything we can to stop misinformation from prevailing.
As Sam Williams puts it, “Truth Tech is one of the most important areas for us to improve in society right now”.
And to help accelerate this movement, Sam Williams reminded everyone that developers are be able to receive funding to build on Arweave.
#TruthTech is one of the most important areas for us to improve in society right now.
We observe the world around us with eyes designed in the 16/1700s. We can do better.
Build it on Arweave, and we will fund you.
All experiments welcome 🙂 https://t.co/A1r5WBNzsp
— 🐘🔗 sam.arweave.dev (@samecwilliams) August 4, 2022
The fact checking, lie detecting A.I. dApp
Speaking of building on Arweave[…]
Sam Williams’ above tweet came in response to MOGX’s concept of an application that could help in the matter of tackling misinformation. MOGX’s concept involved an application that would store news articles on the Arweave blockchain (easily done via ArDrive or Akord dApp integration).
In turn, the application would run machine learning code that would cross reference all documents and “detect facts”. By knowing what is factual and what is not, the application would then be able to spot which news sites or publications were “lying”. Lastly, a public ledger would be created for ranking these news outlets. The fake news spreaders would essentially be exposed.
Maybe via the utilisation of tokens, the “dishonest” outlets could be penalised and have their token stash slashed. Perfecting such a system and dApp would not be the easiest thing on Earth, or beyond, but if achieved would put the end to any kind of arguing amongst ourselves, as MOGX loosely puts it.
There are many ways all this could be implemented, however it would need to be water tight, cause if not 100% perfect, it could be exploited by bad actors.
Imagine an application that:
– stores news articles on arweave (@ArweaveTeam / @ardriveapp)
– runs trained NLP machine learning mechanisms that “detect facts”
– learns to spot “lying”
– creates a ledger for ranking news sites based on their “fact score”
We’d no longer argue.
— MOGX 🥚👑 (@mogulx_operates) August 4, 2022
Why choose Arweave for the dApp?
The most obvious answer to this question is the fact that Arweave offers a place to immutably store information and data.
The not so obvious answer is that Arweave is more reliable than most other blockchains […]
Blockchains, at the end of the day, are networks operating on nodes running software. And what is a node? A computer. So anyone who tells you that blockchains don’t have their own technological flaws sometimes, is most likely mistaken. Every type of technology has some kind of flaw or bug that needs to be tackled before perfecting it.
But at this point in time, there is no better blockchain on which to build the dApp that MOGX mentions in their tweet, than Arweave. This is because, even though the bitcoin network boasts a high uptime percentage since it began operating on January 3, 2009, it still comes behind the Arweave network which has only been subject to 14 minutes of downtime since its main net was launched on June 8, 2018.
This seems surprisingly high? How long were the downtimes in 2010 and 2013?
Arweave is at 99.99935042% — 14 minutes downtime since mainnet launched on June 8th 2018 (all in the first week).
— 🐘🔗 sam.arweave.dev (@samecwilliams) July 13, 2022
Are you ready to build Truth Tech?
If you are new to the world of Arweave and Permaweb, then rest assured that there is lots of information out there to help you learn. To avoid being overwhelmed by the many projects on Arweave, newcomers will find the map below useful. Other than a starting point to the ecosystem, it will help you understand just how powerful the Arweave blockchain can be, by seeing what is built on it, as well as how the different teams collaborate and interact.
— Akord (@AkordTeam) August 4, 2022
And if you want to jump straight into coding and developing your first smart contract on the Arweave network, then look no further than the RedStone Warp Academy. The academy is one of the most reliable sources of information for new developers to the ecosystem. The website is full of free tutorials and resources. You can visit it right here.
Lastly, if you want to keep up-to-date with the latest Arweave ecosystem news, then you are already in the right place, as our team of journalists at Arweave News constantly talks with developers in the space to get the latest and greatest information.