False rumours, fake news, or hate speech against vulnerable minorities through social media are becoming one of the main threats against democracies. A global strategy against disinformation is crucial as open democratic societies rely on free citizens with the ability to access verifiable information so that they can build their own opinions on different political issues. The main scientific objective of HYBRIDS is to provide researchers with the knowledge necessary to design strategies and tools to respond to disinformation on the basis of a deep analysis of public discourse.
There have been exciting advances in the automatic detection of disinformation by making use of natural language processing and new artificial intelligence techniques in the specific field of machine and deep learning. However, this is a very complex task that requires a high degree of natural language understanding, inference, and reasoning. To improve the strategies to deal with disinformation, HYBRIDS will integrate the structured knowledge provided by social and human sciences into natural language processing tools and deep learning algorithms, to develop new hybrid intelligence systems.
The concept of Hybrid Intelligence consists of combining machine and human intelligence to overcome the shortcomings of existing artificial intelligence methods. Even though hybrid systems are likely to become more and more decisive in the immediate future, there are very few experts who can design and develop such systems. This is mainly due to the multidisciplinary nature of the hybrid strategy and the difficulty of finding researchers with full training in traditionally separate disciplines such as computer engineering, social sciences, or linguistics. The Hybrids Doctoral Network aims to train researchers in hybrid methodologies for their application in social studies with an impact on the sustainability of good democratic practices in Europe.