On March 18, attestive, a company fighting against digital fraud and counterfeits using blockchain technology, announced that it had obtained funds exceeding $ 2 million in a start-up offer.
Cointelegraph recently spoke to Attestiv CEO Nico Vekiarides to discuss his thoughts on the role of blockchain in the fight against fake news and digital fraud in the insurance industry.
Cointelegraph: Can we have an overview of how the Attestiv platform works?
Nicos Vekiarides: Attestiv provides the authenticity of photos, videos and digital documents by registering a fingerprint in a blockchain when a digital element is captured.
Although it does not contain the asset itself, the digital fingerprint securely represents all of the asset’s content and key metadata such as timestamp and location. It also includes other optional attributes such as user or context information. At any time in the future, the asset can be compared in real time to the general ledger fingerprint to determine if it is changed in any way.
Behind the scenes, the whole process involves AI, heuristics and even forensics to help track and determine authenticity, chain of custody and even understand slight changes, reformatting, resizing, etc. Because we are independent from the general ledger, we are working with both public and private blockchains or registries, and will soon be announcing partners.
CT: What are the applications of the attestation platform?
NV: Our first use cases focus on the insurance ecosystem, where many stakeholders do not always share a common system or trust.
Our clients are insurance brokers, insurance adjusters, carriers and even law enforcement. The insurance industry already faces $ 30-40 billion in property & amp; loss fraud in the United States only (according to the FBI).
With digital transformation and self-service mobile user interfaces in the process of being deployed or on the horizon, there is a growing need to detect and prevent fraud, especially based on recent advances in photo editing tools and AI-based video – which is available to virtually anyone.
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CT: Are there any projects for which part of the $ 2 million collection has been allocated?
NV: Absolutely. We are expanding our perceptual fingerprint technology to cover more use cases, such as video that has been redacted, transcoded or lossy. We are building forensic technology that works in tandem with our blockchain-based sabotage prevention. Finally, we create optimal user experiences for our customers via applications or APIs that integrate seamlessly into existing applications.
CT: Can you comment on the role of blockchain technology in the fight against fake news?
NV: Blockchain can play an important role in fighting fake news as long as the industry is willing to adopt a new standard for capturing photos and videos.
To some extent, the lines get blurred when editorialization comes into play – and there are some cases where the best we can do is create a provable endorsement of a news article, rather than proving its authenticity.
Social media has tried to create order around this space, but counterfeiting regulations are still in the early stages of training and, quite frankly, are evolving regularly. For example, what constitutes satire against fake news can sometimes be perceived differently by different people.
We have learned that fake news can be very problematic during a pandemic. At first, a video allegedly showing the Wuhan market where the COVID-19 strain materialized was debunked and found to be filmed somewhere in the Philippines. But the truth emerged after a significant number of shares.
It is clear that people are more vulnerable and more likely to believe photos, videos or impressions when they panic. Being able to discern between what is real, what is false and what opinion is very important in these circumstances.
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