Washington Post Truth Teller app aims to fact check politicians in real-time

President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as moderator Bob Schieffer listens on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida.

A new app is hoping to offer some digital truth serum.  Truth Teller, under development at the Washington Post, aims to automatically check political speeches for lies, darn lies, and other misrepresentations. 

"We feed a video into our Truth Teller, it extracts the audio, it turns that audio into a transcript, then it takes that text, runs an algorithm and matches claims in that text to our database of facts and then returns back to the user whether this is true or false," says Cory Haik, the Washington Post's executive producer for digital news.

Haik says the idea came from a small speech made by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to group of voters in Iowa during the 2012 presidential primaries. A Post editor in attendance found parts of it erroneous. Haik thought to herself, what if there was an app, much like the song-identifier app Shazam, for politics?

While the app is still a work-in-progress, Haik says the goal is to one day enable a voter to simply hold up their phone, record any politician, and see real-time if they are hearing fact or fiction.

Check out the Truth Teller prototype on your desktop here.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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