The FactCheck Initiative unveiled on Tuesday, a GPT-4-powered AI for WhatsApp, ChatBawa, to boost the verification of information using an artificial intelligence chatbox, ChatGPT.

Temitope Adeoye, the founder of FCI, said in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday that ChatBawa was launched in conjunction with IDC Platforms Limited.

He added that FCI is leveraging GPT-4’s advanced artificial intelligence capabilities to verify or check information to enable users to send iReports and suggestions to relevant agencies, to facilitate self-assessment, to collect feedback, and to use Google data to get up-to-date information.

He said, “We aim to meet the needs of native users who may face language barriers when trying to access these services and artificial intelligence in general, as Bawa is currently available in 9 languages (English, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Arabic).

“Bawa is private and secure, and any information shared with the AI and automated assistant is kept private. We take our users’ privacy and security very seriously and have put appropriate safeguards in place to protect their information.

“In comparison to ChatGPT, ChatBawa can search online and get the most up-to-date information with references because it creatively combines multiple functionalities within a single WhatsApp chatbot, providing a comprehensive platform for information verification, reporting, self-assessment, and feedback.”

According to the FCI founder, Bawa’s AskME AI assistant feature has been trained to understand and respond in real-time to almost all requests, including summarising URLs and generating images.

He said, “For example, to summarise a website, send “Summarise URL” and to generate an image, send “generate an image of Nigeria Flag”.

“It can even help with writing exceptional quality content, whether it’s a blog post, a poem, an essay, an email, or anything, but our main focus with Bawa is geared towards fact-checking, assisting frontline workers in decision making, and giving everyone easy access to GPT-4 via WhatsApp.”

Adeoye explained how to use the chatbot, saying, “Save the phone number +23490-436-00000 to your phone and send it hello on WhatsApp to get started, and make sure you follow the prompts so the bot can understand what you need it to do. Although the AskME feature is not completely free, it does offer subscription plans and a free trial to anyone who wishes to use it.”

When asked about bias mitigation, Adeoye stated, “To mitigate bias, we have ensured that the training dataset is diverse, inclusive, and representative of the multilingual user base.

“To identify and correct any biases that may arise, we have used debiasing techniques, performed regular bias audits, and incorporated user feedback.

“The big idea is to make the chatbot available on other social media platforms and apps, add more languages, educational/gender equality features, and become the most advanced network-aware, social media-aware system that serves as a one-stop platform for information verification, citizen engagement, and accountability.

“We are also creating the best outlet for anyone or any brand seeking access to any government agency through a well-moderated platform that is accessible at their fingertips.”

Adeoye thanked the IDC Platforms Team a Nigerian multipurpose company headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, where he is also the CEO, for developing ChatBawa, the Bawa AI.

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