Two Danish startups fight false news using artificial intelligence.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reported in January 2020 that less than four in ten people trust most news most of the time. Only 38% of more than 80,000 people surveyed in 40 countries trusted most news, a fall of four percentage points from 20191.

False news is an increasing global “infodemic”. Content that arouses greater fear, disgust, and surprise compels individuals to share farther, faster, and deeper. When falsehoods are 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth2, it may seem futile to preserve a news ecosystem that values and promotes accuracy.

That’s why it’s so exciting that artificial intelligence paired with a media marketplace could save us from our own humanity.

Two Danish growth startups, Abzu and Byrd, have joined forces to use artificial intelligence to fight false news. Byrd, a leading content platform that connects media outlets with photographers and videographers in real time, and Abzu, an artificial intelligence startup with a pioneering, explainable machine learning technology, have built a solution that that automatically detects, and flags, falsified content in breaking news.

Each story and corresponding media on Byrd’s platform undergo a machine learning verification process that captures the majority of false stories, even as news breaks. Content is rated with a probability score of trustworthiness. The transparent and explainable graph-based models from Abzu allow Byrd to precisely understand what inputs have been used to determine if content has been falsified. If the artificial intelligence is uncertain, Byrd manually verifies content.

Mikkel Reymann Stephensen, co-founder of Byrd, says, “Our photographers are a crucial source of information, and we need to identify anyone trying to bring distrust into the media flow. Through our partnership with Abzu, we have been able to identify the majority of falsified news and also understand the reasons why stories are being falsified. It has given us another tool to fight fake news — and this tool applies itself.”

It’s vital for media networks to ensure stories are true and trustworthy. Mortal extremes exacerbate our consumption of and attitude towards news media, and we don’t need another crisis or election to remind us how susceptible we are to conspiracies and misinformation.

Abzu and Byrd see a future where journalists and the news media can identify the trustworthiness of content with conviction and can navigate the news ecosystem to a more transparent and trustworthy place.


1 Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020. Nic Newman with Richard Fletcher, Anne Schulz, Simge Andı, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.

2 The spread of true and false news online. Science359,1146-1151(2018).

About Abzu.

Founded in 2018, Abzu® builds trustworthy AI to tackle complex challenges for the world’s leading companies. Abzu established itself as a global leader in explainable, rational, and safe AI in the pharmaceutical industry, contributing to new discoveries in disease understanding and RNA therapeutics. Today, Abzu’s technology accelerates new insights and understanding in pharma R&D and transforms critical and complex business processes for enterprise operations.

Abzu has offices in Copenhagen and Barcelona, and has raised €13.3M in total funding to date. Abzu has been mentioned in Gartner® research, from Market Guides for AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management to CoolVendor™, and is the winner of several awards, including the 2023 “Best HealthTech” Nordics Award at the Nordic Startup Awards. For more information, visit

About Byrd.

Byrd is a leading content platform that connects media outlets with photographers and videographers in real time. Byrd’s platform makes it easy, enticing, and worthwhile for anyone to help media cover the news. The subscription-based marketplace is designed for journalists and news outlets to access high-quality media anytime and anywhere.

For more information, visit

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