MU tech contest seeks student solutions to combat ‘deepfakes’

The University of Missouri journalism school is looking to enlist tech-savvy students in the fight against fabricated photos, audio and video.

MU’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, or RJI, announced the opening of its annual Student Innovation Competition earlier this month. The task is to create a program, tool or prototype for photo, video or audio verification. The first-place team will receive $10,000.

In announcing the contest, organizers said fake multimedia content has become one of the biggest challenges the news industry faces nowadays.

The competition is open to all U.S. college students. There must be at least one journalism or communication student on each team.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 1. From that point, finalists will be chosen to present in front of industry judges and the public in early February.

The prizes for second and third places are $2,500 and $1,000.

According to the contest announcement, projects will be judged on criteria including how close to ready they are for implementation; whether they effectively verify media; and whether they’re accessible to newsrooms of all sizes and budgets.

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