DisAI Newsletter: One year into the project

We have just sent our second DisAI Newsletter, you can read the it here. Check it out to find our more about our progress , our replication challenge and a recent publication success.

Subscribe to the DisAI Newsletter to stay up to date with the project progress.

Multilingual NLP: Overview and Low-Resource Multilingual Processing

The German Research Center for AI (DFKI) recently hosted our second scientific webinar on the topic of Multilingual NLP: Overview and Low-Resource Multilingual Processing.

Dr. Simon Ostermann (Senior Researcher at DFKI) and Cristina España-Bonet (Senior Researcher at DFKI) presented an overview of common approaches and techniques in multilingual and cross-lingual natural language processing. They also focused on low-resource multilingual processing and gave insights into current research conducted at the Multilinguality and Language Technology Lab at DFKI.

Learn more about the webinar or watch the webinar recording here.

Replication Challenge

Replication Challenge is an exciting opportunity to get in touch with researchers from prominent research institutions and work together on a replication study of a selected work.

The activity is designated for early stage researchers (PhD students, research-oriented master students or other research enthusiasts) and focuses on topics falling within the scope of the DisAI project, namely:

  • multilingual language technologies
  • multimodal natural language processing
  • trustworthy artificial intelligence

while preferably covering (but not limited to) the domain of:

  • disinformation combating 

Each involved participant will be assigned a mentor from the leading partners. Together they will select a scientific paper (related to project topics) and replicate the research described therein. This way, the early-stage researchers will get better acquainted with the state-of-the-art in their field of study and gain practical research experience. The involved participants will have 3 months to replicate the selected research work. 

Each researcher will prepare a final report on the achieved results and submit it according to the instructions below (please scroll down for more info about the submission process).

The activity will culminate with a 1-day workshop, where the participants will present the results of their work. In the replication study, the participants and their mentors are encouraged to extend the replicated work with some novel interesting ideas, so their results can be published to the scientific community as well.

To participate in the replication study, please apply according to the instructions below. Approximately 10 early stage researchers will be selected after balancing the interest and mentors capacity.

Mentors and Research Works to Replicate

Note that the list of papers for replication is not exhaustive. You can propose your own paper when applying for the Replication Challenge, which can be considered by the mentors (UPDATED).

Application

Fill in this form and indicate your interests. We will contact you with the decision, eventually containing information about mentor and research work assignment.

Results submission

After finalising the replication study, participants are obliged to submit a report summarising the achieved results.  

Submit the report by the submission date of the run you are involved in by email to replication@disai.eu using the template.

After submission, be prepared to receive feedback and instructions to provide a camera ready version.

Schedule

  • October 4th – Call for Participation
  • Run I
    • October 4th – October 20th – Application and ESR-Mentor Matching
    • November 2nd – January 31th February 7th – Replication Study Realisation
    • January 31th February 7th – Report submission
    • April 15th 9:00 – Review, Camera-ready submission
  • Run II
    • December 11th – April 11th – Replication Study Realisation
    • April 11th – Report submission
    • April 18th 12:00 – Review, Camera-ready submission
  • April 22nd – Workshop in Bratislava (see below)

The Reproducibility and Replicability Workshop

The participants of the replication challenge will present their findings at the 1-day workshop that will be organised on April 22nd 2024 in Bratislava as an hybrid event.

Schedule (Monday, April 22nd):

10:00-10:15Welcome
Welcome from organisers
10:15-11:15Rafael Tolosana Calasanz & Andrea Hrčková: Reproducibility in AI (AI4Europe)
11:15-12:15Lunch
12:15-13.45Replication Studies: Part I
PhD students (to be expanded)
13:45-14:15Coffee Break
14:15-16:15Replication Studies: Part II
Master students (to be expanded)
16:15-16:30Goodbye

More details about workshop will be provided later.

DisAI Newsletter: Developing new methods to tackle disinformation

During the project, we will send out regular newsletters. You can read the first one here, you will learn more about the first 6 months of the DisAI project.

Subscribe to the DisAI Newsletter to stay up to date with the project progress.

KInIT has partnered with top language technology experts to tackle disinformation

The Kempelen Institute of Intelligent Technologies (KInIT) has succeeded in the Twinning scheme of the Horizon Europe grant programme, the European Union’s key programme for funding research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. KInIT is one of the three most successful Slovak applicants in this programme for 2022 and received the best funding per researcher. Last year, KInIT managed to receive as many as five grants, totalling almost two million euros. The main goal of the latest three-year international DisAI project is to improve the use of language technologies and trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in the fight against disinformation.

Over the next three years, KInIT will hold a number of training sessions, webinars, workshops, as well as a summer school for students, researchers and research management to help increase the competences of the institute’s staff and, to some extent, the professional public as well. The training activities will also include a so-called shared task. A shared task functions in the scientific world as a mechanism for multi-team work on an open scientific problem with submitted data that can be used by researchers from all over the world.

“We will also have a research project – our experts will work in teams with international partners, they will write joint articles and present their results at the end. We will be working with top researchers in language technology and countering disinformation, from whom we want to learn a lot. For KInIT it is also a chance to raise our profile at the European level, to gain a lot of new experience that we can implement in the Slovak context, as well as to establish important partnerships for our further development,” explains the project’s Principal Investigator Marián Šimko.

Prestigious research institutions will also participate

KInIT considers the fight against disinformation as one of the most important societal challenges. It is no secret that Slovakia is one of the less developed countries in the European Union in this area and systematic support for it is practically non-existent in our country. Moreover, our research and innovation ecosystem suffers from a lack of cooperation between industry and academia. 

“That is why, as an institute involved in intelligent technology research, we were looking for partners who could help us improve our scientific maturity in the fight against misinformation. We approached the most prestigious institutions in the field of language technology and trustworthy AI research in Europe and together we applied for the Horizon Europe grant programme,” says Marián Šimko. KInIT will collaborate on the project with leading research institutions DFKI from Germany, CERTH from Greece and the University of Copenhagen, whose leading experts will mentor the Slovak researchers.

The analysis and processing of data from the web, with a focus on disinformation or other forms of harmful content, together with natural language processing and understanding, are among the main disciplines of KInIT, which is the first independent institute of its kind in Slovakia. 

We want to increase the security of the digital society 

This project works with natural language processing methods, a subfield of artificial intelligence that is used in detecting misinformation, verifying facts and understanding multiple languages. Thanks to the grant support, the project will contribute to refining these research activities in Slovakia. “KInIT’s long-term goal is to help protect the digital society. Together with our partners, we want to develop new methods to support the fight against disinformation and significantly advance research in this area,” explains Marián Šimko.

The scientific part of the project focuses on investigating a specific problem in this area, so-called claim matching. “We are aware that complete automation of the fight against disinformation is difficult to achieve, but we want to make the fact-checking process more efficient and faster by various methods,” concludes the project’s Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of KInIT, Marián Šimko. Emphasis will also be placed on the visibility and impact of the project so that its results will be beneficial for as many stakeholders in the research and innovation ecosystem in Slovakia and Europe as possible. At the same time, the project will enable KInIT to strengthen its research management and administration skills.

DisAI: Introducing the project

We succeeded in Horizon Europe’s Twinning scheme and joined forces with leading research institutions in natural language processing and disinformation combating. KInIT, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) will be KInIT’s partners and mentors in the project focused exclusively on increasing KInIT’s scientific excellence, expertise and competences.

The R&I ecosystem of Slovakia suffers from a lack of scientific excellence and industry-academia collaboration. Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&I from the private sector in 2020 was 0.5 % of the Slovak GDP, being one of the lowest in the EU. Challenged by the lack of internationalisation, “academic inbreeding” and brain drain (second highest in EU), Slovakia continually ranks on the tail of participation and success rates in EU funding programmes.

The Twinning scheme aims to enhance networking activities between the research institutions of the Widening countries and top-class leading counterparts in the EU. We set our main goal to help safe-guard digital society in Slovakia and beyond by improving scientific excellence and creativity of KInIT in combating harmful content with artificial intelligence (AI) and language technologies (LT).

In the DisAI project, we connect with the German DFKI, Danish University of Copenhagen and Greek CERTH.

DFKI is the largest independent AI research institute worldwide and top-level research institute in various areas of human-centric AI, including language technologies and multilingualism.

The University of Copenhagen is an internationally leading university, with rankings of No. 33 worldwide and No. 7 in Europe according to the ARWU (Shanghai) ranking, having one of Europe’s strongest natural language processing sections and expertise in trustworthy AI.

CERTH is a Greek awarded research centre with extensive expertise in disinformation combating and multimodal processing.

The main objectives of the project are improving scientific excellence of KInIT in the selected areas of AI and LT, and strengthening research management and administrative skills and support for excellent research at KInIT. 

We focus on disinformation combating, which we consider one of the most important societal challenges to tackle. We already have a rising research track/record and involvement in international initiatives in the area of information disorders. Strengthening KInIT’s competencies will be achieved by building its capacity in three focus areas: 

  • Multilingual Language Technologies
  • Multimodal Natural Language Processing
  • Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

KInIT takes the coordinator role in the project, where main work is divided into 4 areas.

Research strategy formulation and research excellence training

The International scientific coordination committee will oversee scientific goals and roadmap toward their implementation. Training activities such as webinars, a summer school, a shared task and workshops, and staff exchanges will be organized, aiming at knowledge sharing, exchange of best practices and competencies among consortium partners, and networking for excellence, targeting scientists at different career levels (from early-stage to senior researchers, including students). 

Collaborative exploratory research project

Complementing the training and networking, research capacity and excellence will be deepened through practical application of gained knowledge. The research project will focus on claim matching as a representative task of disinformation combating. The infrastructure built within the project and the acquired datasets will remain permanent and useful for KInIT for future endeavors in disinformation or other harmful content combating.

Improvement of research management and innovation capacities

Research management and administration skills to support creativity and innovation will be strengthened via a set of specific training and networking activities and by setting up a collaborative research support help-desk with the involvement of the leading partners’ research management units.

Results dissemination and exploitation beyond the project.

The focus will be on raising the reputation and research profile and collaboration attractiveness of KInIT. Wider regional and national impact of the project results will be maximized. KInIT will be introduced at prominent research venues andat academic and industry collaboration events. We plan to integrate into AI and LT international initiatives such as CLARIN or ELLIS.