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Washington Post Whips Up an App to Monitor Honesty in Politics

Posted on Feb 4, 2013
AP/Don Ryan

Then-Sen. Barack Obama is visible through a video camera’s screen and viewfinder as he campaigns at Summit High School in Bend, Ore., in 2008.

It’s a big job for one little app, but some clever minds at The Washington Post have come up with a plan for an application designed to scan politicians’ statements and see how they stack up against those pesky facts.

What’s more, the Truth Teller app aims to perform this impressive feat of accountability in real time, giving voters a way to keep tabs on the rhetoric emitted by the politician of their choosing as it happens. If it works, it could serve the voting public as a kind of tech-enabled fact-seeking device that offers would-be elected officials and their speechwriters all the more reason to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

Marketplace Tech:

“We feed a video into our Truth Teller, it extracts the audio, it turns that audio into a transcript, then it takes that text, runs an algorithm and matches claims in that text to our database of facts and then returns back to the user whether this is true or false,” says Cory Haik, the Washington Post’s executive producer for digital news.

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—Posted by Kasia Anderson.


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