UTA project will bust claims of candidates


University of Texas at Arlington associate professor Chengkai Li is using a device to check claims in political debates, getting closer to automated fact-checking.

His project, ClaimBuster, has the goal of “helping journalists fact-check statements made by politicians in real time using a machine-learning tool.”

The project currently can only flag possibly erroneous claims that need a second look. But the potential of having a full-fledged, automated ClaimBuster for checking election rhetoric is intriguing.

Powerhouse foundations agree. Li has gotten partial backing from National Science Foundation grants and, most recently, a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, one of 20 such grants in the nation for 2015.

ClaimBuster in a demo mode has examined claims in recent debates, flagging doubtful information.

Anyone who has watched those debates knows that can be very useful.