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Indian AI-start-up vPhrase to fight fake news around Covid19 with insights

Neerav Parekh

The world is not only battling against the novel Covid19 pandemic that has caused a massive social and economic disaster, but also the fake news and misinformation around it that can have more significant and devastating consequences. In a bid to eliminate such misinformation, an Indian analytics start-up vPhrase Analytics Solutions Pvt. Ltd has launched Phrazor Insights to provide regular and authentic insights related to Covid19.

Founded in 2015, vPhrase offers AI-powered business intelligence and reporting automation solutions using machine learning and natural language generation technology. Phrazor Insights is an extension of its Phrazor, a natural language generation platform that can create, configure, and automate reports consumed by enterprises and individuals. Its clients include Fidelity International, Abbott, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Bank, among other financial services companies.

Neerav Parekh, Founder of vPhrase, told IBS Intelligence that the idea behind creating Phrazor Insights was to democratize COVID-19 related information and make it available for even a layperson to understand.

“COVID-19-related data is readily available, but the authenticity and credibility of the numbers and sources is a concern. Besides, several dashboards are using reliable datasets to produce live updates, but the data is mere numbers to most. People find it difficult to make sense of the updates and leaving a lot just for interpretation. Hence, we created Phrazor,” Parekh said.

Phrazor would provide these insights regularly based on live data analysis. These bite-sized updates are available in English and various regional Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Telugu. The insights are curated using datasets made available by COVID-19 India and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“The pandemic has thrust us all into one giant boat, sailing on choppy waters, with no visibility. We are trying to brace ourselves for more of the unexpected while coping with the situation. Fake news and misinformation stand to cause more harm now than ever before,” Parekh said, adding that deciphering unstructured astronomical data floating around can be overwhelming and confusing.

Based out of Mumbai, the company has raised $2 million in its Series A funding round from Bharat Innovation Fund and Falcon Edge Capital in August last year to launch Explorazor, an advanced natural language generation engine, and machine intelligence. It also had raised a seed fund from incubator Venture Catalysts in 2016.

vPhrase is not the first company to have launch an initiative against such misinformation. Internet giants like Facebook, GoogleTwitter, and TikTok have all pledged to promote fact-based information on the epidemic with the help of AI.  AI algorithms can weed out words and content that are sensational and abusive by giving preference to science.

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