Disinfo Hackathon was an innovative two-day educational hackathon that brought together experts in communication and information, startups & technology, with active young participants for a common goal: the development of collaborative solutions with the contribution of technology and digital applications to identify, assess and combat misinformation. It was successfully held on 10 and 11 September 2022.
YET, true to its mission as a “meeting place” for education, creation, and innovation, had the pleasure to be, together with DCN Global and AD&PR Lab of Panteion University, the organizer of this unique educational program that welcomed the public at Pavilion of the Ministry of Development, at the Thessaloniki International Fair – TIF 2022, in the heart of innovation and digital transformation.
During the opening ceremony of the Disinfo Hackathon, the initiative was welcomed by the Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, the US Ambassador to Greece, George J. Tsunis, and Franco Spicciariello, Head of Public Policy Italy & CEE, Amazon Web Services (AWS), expressing their active support for innovative, socially beneficial actions.
At the Disinfo Hackathon, we welcomed more than 50 dynamic participants with different academic backgrounds and 20 skilled ecosystem professionals who joined the initiative as speakers, mentors, and judges. The agenda of this creative two-day event included inspiring talks, interactive activities, and educational workshops that educated, entertained, and prepared the teams to collaborate, design, and present their own ideas, claiming the opportunity to see their idea become a reality, since the prize of the event was direct participation in the second phase of the NBG Business Innovation & Technology Competition of the National Bank of Greece.
Five teams were created by the participants and approached four thematic modules-challenges selected by our experts as representative examples of reality, since they dealt with the consequences of misinformation in journalism, health, advertising and brands, as well as religion.
The innovative ideas enthusiastically conceived and collaborated by all the competition teams under the valuable guidance of the experienced mentors and presented in front of the judges included:
- Adhacks is a tool that checks the degree of correlation between the ads suggested to an internet user and their previous searches.
- Health Check is an intelligent algorithm that checks the degree of reliability of health-related online resources by comparing articles from official medical journals.
- Disfairytellers, a narrative approach through stories and tales to raise awareness of misinformation issues.
- YouCheck, is a tool for checking psychological parameters such as posture and tone of voice, which aims to check whether what speakers say on YouTube is true.
- And finally, FACTUALS, is a chatbot that answers users’ questions with confirmed journalistic and academic sources.
The smart chatbot of the FACTUALS team stood out and was selected by the judges as the winner of the hackathon that got the ticket to the second phase of the Innovation & Technology Competition of the NBG Business Seeds program. The announcement of the winner, which took place at the closing of the hackathon, was made by Mr. Spyros Arsenis, Head of Innovative Business Development and Business Seeds program.
“It takes an ecosystem to fight misinformation”
The two-day innovation competition offered participants a hands-on experience of innovation and designing ideas to solve problems, but also an enjoyable weekend of networking, collaboration and participation. It was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Development and supported by the American Embassy in Greece, and was implemented with the support and collaboration of Amazon Web Services (AWS), NBG Business Seeds of National Bank of Greece, Elevate Greece, Inside Story, Envolve Entrepreneurship, Industry Disruptors Game Changers ID-GC, Found.ation, Socialinnov, Thessaloniki Tech Lab & EduAct.