The William & Mary Global Innovation Challenge (WMGIC) is a student-led organization that hosts two annual competitions for undergraduate students worldwide to compete on ideas that create “sustainable and scalable solutions.” This year’s fall event, held on November 3, 2023, featured student teams from more that 25 universities in 16 countries who competed in one of six different “streams.”
The Global Disinformation Lab featured a team competing in the Alpha Stream which focused on Artificial Intelligence and included six other teams from the US, Romania, Hungary and Italy. With their hard work and innovative ideas, GDIL won the Alpha Stream!
They were tasked with developing an initiative for NATO to counter disinformation created through deepfakes. Working together and with cross-industry mentors, they created a 3 minute presentation of their idea: NATOMark Initiative. This project aimed to verify the authenticity of social media content about NATO government figures by creating a two-step verification system with (1) forensic watermark given to member states to embed in government-generated content and (2) metadata tracking software. Through partnerships with social media platforms, existing automated systems will verify or flag posts containing content of NATO member-state government figures to ensure it contains the NATO watermark and accurate metadata. This initiative aimed to combat the spread of disinformation through deepfakes by enabling social media users to easily distinguish manipulated content from authentic posts. They finished with a detailed rollout plan with multiple stages.