A network of surreal letters and symbols in black and white representing the field of "AI, fact-checking, and verification" – dreamed up by a machine.
Verification, AI & Automization

vera.ai: Picking up Digital Verification Where WeVerify Left off

Kicked off in September and already in full R&D swing, Horizon Europe project vera.ai (short for: verification assisted by artificial intelligence) is in some way the successor of WeVerify – and yet another important contribution to the fight against digital disinformation. We are a full consortium partner, ready to take on all sorts of tasks over the course of three years.

vera.ai's core mission is to develop and build reliable AI tools to help spot and counter disinformation online. This includes all types of content: text, audio, images, and video. The project caters to what has become the core group for digital verification and fake detection: fact-checkers, journalists, human rights activists, and legal investigators. The pan-European consortium consists of 14 partners, led by the Media Verification (MeVer) team of the Informatics Research Institute  ITI-CERTH in Thessaloniki. All members of vera.ai are dedicated to a user-centric approach, thus ensuring the project meets real life verification needs and requirements. Speaking of which: The iterative formulation and refinement of user requirements will be one of DW's main tasks in the project. Our other duties include the operation of the vera.ai website and social media channels. We will also contribute to several technological work packages, e.g. multilingual credibility assessment and evidence retrieval, audiovisual content analysis, and multimodal deep fake and manipulation analysis.

The project's official logo: Two adjacent hexagons in green show an abstract representation of a neural network (left side) and a magnifying glass (right side). Below, small letters spell out: vera dot ai, also in black (vera) and green (ai).
The project's official logo.

vera.ai greatly benefits from the consortium's expertise in the domain of verification and disinfo analysis. Most notably, the project relies on the work done in WeVerify, which ran from early 2019 to late 2021. As a consequence, the vera.ai consortium has already delivered its first milestone, in record time: A new version of the very popular and indispensable verification plug-in (70.000+ monthly users so far). More info on vera.ai (including a full list of partners) in this kick-off thread on Twitter. For now, twitter.com/veraai_eu is the project's primary communication channel. However, a fully-fledged website is scheduled to be launched in November/December (bookmark: www.veraai.eu).

Jochen Spangenberg