The ALETHEIA Centre of Excellence (ἀλήθεια) is a research laboratory of the Luiss Data Lab, established to promote research and knowledge exchange on issues related to information, professional correctness, the fight against misinformation and forced polarization in the media, on and offline.
ALETHEIA promotes multidisciplinary, experimental research that combines the classic analysis of social and political narrative with the new cognitive tools, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain. ALETHEIA also works on contrasting the distortions inflicted on the information system, on social media and traditional media, from the so-called “fake news” to the artificial polarizations of communities, that as well as creating disruption to media of quality induce fateful effects on contemporary societies from the reduction of trust in institutions, public or private, in the authority of science, thus negatively corrupting decisions and opinions of citizens.
To create a new quality benchmark, ALETHEIA promotes research and debate among researchers, journalists, fact-checkers, computer scientists, philosophers, scientists and every other expert in the sector to allow a rapid and punctual dialogue on issues regarding the technological impact on disinformation.
ALETHEIA believes in a set of values and methodologies:
- Exchange and comparison of techniques, research and analysis amongst operators;
- Access to instruments and tools for checking online content without noxious barriers;
- The creation of an international network of experts involved on these issues;
- Training of those most exposed to fake news, from school-age children to the elderly, on media literacy, quality journalism, trust and governance;
- Organizing events, seminars, hackathons, conferences on disinformation, fact checking, equanimity and quality in the media;
- In depth analysis of specific issues focusing on health, climate, and literacy, to nurture a critical public opinion, spurred not dulled by new media;
- Working alongside the European Observatory on Disinformation SOMA (Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis) and with the Northern European network EU REMID.
ALETHEIA uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in parallel to the traditional social science methodologies. that are however complementary to the use of social science methodologies. The lack of confidence in information, and the widespread circulation of false news and artificial opinions, mass-produced in laboratories by propaganda professionals, is pathology often linked to technology and the digital world. Alas ALETHEIA believes the real cruxes are cultural and political, not just technological, a decisive crossroad for our times. 90% of the data we possess today, has been collected just over the last 24 months, a wealth of information that changes our own way of thinking and operating. To cope with these tasks ALETEHIA aligns in its centre of excellence cultures and techniques, but also ideals and passions.
The ultimate goal of the centre of excellence is to create a community of researchers, experts, community leaders and citizen to generate scientific works enabling the full understanding of disinformation’s flow, allowing different stakeholder to access analysis and research renewing trust in institutions.
ALETHEIA defends the truth, ethical rights, including the right to verified and reliable information, so that each individual, through the exercise of one’s independent critical thinking, can make one’s own choices protected from malevolent influences aimed at obscuring the inherent truth in the facts. ALETHEIA therefore sets itself the ultimate goal of helping to preserve the freedom of democratic societies and the solidity of the institutions on which they are founded. If the free expression of faiths, ideas, research, values, ideals must be guaranteed with no delay ever, the nefarious proliferation of propaganda in bad faith, the assembly line of falsehoods, the use of social and digital platforms to misinform citizens, sowing hatred and resentment, induces radical nihilism, a true enemy of democracies and tolerance.