This article was published on June 20, 2024

Fact-checking startup targets AI hallucinations after raising €1M

Factiverse calls accurate artificial intelligence the 'bedrock' of democratic values

Fact-checking startup targets AI hallucinations after raising €1M Image by: cottonbro studio

A fact-checking startup has accelerated plans to banish AI hallucinations after securing €1mn in funding.

Norway-based Factiverse uses machine learning to verify content generated by artificial intelligence. The company’s tools automatically detect inaccurate outputs. These errors now frequently cause controversy.

A New York lawyer, for instance, had to apologise for using bogus court citations sourced from ChatGPT. CNET needed to correct 41 of the 77 stories that the news outlet had written with an AI tool. Microsoft’s Bing AI has produced numerous errors in analyses of earning reports. The company’s chatbot has also claimed it spied on employees.

Factiverse offers a solution to these problems. Founded in 2019, the company builds patented models that analyse AI-generated content. These models harness research by Vinay Setty, the company’s co-founder and CTO. Setty is also an associate professor in machine learning at University in Stavanger. He has spent over a decade investigating text and graph mining for fact-checking.

Setty’s research laid the foundations for the Factiverse AI Editor. Launched last year, tool detects biases and mistakes in text created by the likes of ChatGPT. It also surfaces reliable sources for the findings.

Funding for fact-checking

The new cash injection will fund further refinements. Investors include Murshid Ali, who founded Huddlestock and Skyfri, Johann Olav Koss, an entrepreneur and four-time Olympic gold medallist in speed-skating, and Yasmin Namini, a former C-level executive at the New York Times. Investment firms Herfo and Valide Invest also contributed.

Factiverse’s CEO and co-founder, Maria Amelie, announced the raise today at TNW Conference.

“This investment will allow us to accelerate the development of our now crucial fact-checking solutions and empower even more businesses to leverage the power of AI with confidence,” she said. 

Alongside the funding, Factiverse has also launched a journalist trial program. Users will get 30 days of free access to the fact-checking tech. No payment card is needed for the trial.

Factiverse wants the new trial and funds to broaden the startup’s user base. Espen Egil Hansen, the company’s chairman, views AI hallucinations as a mainstream concern.

“Instances of companies facing legal repercussions for factual errors in their chatbots are already a reality,” he said. “As AI becomes more deeply ingrained in our daily lives, ensuring the accuracy of AI models isn’t just about good business; it’s the bedrock upon which democratic values are built.”

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