AMU Students-Designed App Analyses Extremist Content From Internet, Secures Facebook Funding

A group of three final year engineering students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) won the two-day 'Digital Masala Challenge', a hackathon, organized by the web portal "Youth Ki Awaaz" in Mumbai.

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AMU Students-Designed App Analyses Extremist Content From Internet, Secures Facebook Funding

AMU Students' App Analyses Extremist Content Secures Facebook Funding

Mumbai:  A group of three final year engineering students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) won the two-day 'Digital Masala Challenge', a hackathon, organized by the web portal "Youth Ki Awaaz" in Mumbai. The event was sponsored by Facebook India. The app, which is a Natural Language Processor (NLP) based browser extension, analyses the violent and extremist content on the Internet and ranks them on a Polarisation Index. AMU team which had to compete with four other teams of professionals and students from across the country, formulated the idea to monitor digital space to counter extremist contents, which provided a viable solution to the problem, won a funding of $ 5000 from Facebook in the event.

The team, which identifies itself as "The Moderators", comprises Hamzah Khan, Ashar Shahid and Baqir Khan.

Hamzah Khan, a final year Mechanical Engineering student and a member of the team said that "online extremism is a menace and engineers around the world are challenged to find a solution to check such contents on internet. We are delighted to develop a device that will help curb extremism on social media".

Another member of the team, Baqir Khan said, "We are happy that our hard work has brought fruits which will encourage us to make this device better".

Read also: AMU Engineering Students Win Award For Designing Quickest Hybrid Vehicle

"Our future plans include bringing world renowned scholars, sociologists, historians and journalists on board to teach our Artificial Intelligence (AI) Model and recommend readers what is correct and what is not," informed Ashar Shahid.

The panel of judges comprised Ruhee Neog, Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Ms. Sushobha Barve, Ashoka Fellow and Program Director of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation and Shivnath Thukral, Public Policy Director, Facebook India and South Asia.

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Facebook's Public Policy Director, Shivnath Thukral, said that it is significant to design a programme creating an immediate impact. He was impressed with the team Moderators' idea saying it was unique and could be monetized in the future.

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