Ukrainian AI company raises $1 million to fight Russian propaganda

Osavul, a startup born in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, has raised $1 million and plans to direct it toward integrating large language models (LLMs) into its platform.

The company's products focus on information security, information environment assessment, and countering disinformation.

The startup was launched in the aftermath of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, followed by a wave of propaganda and narratives discrediting Ukraine and its allies.

"In recent years, we have seen the rapid development of AI due to the emergence of Large Language Models, such as ChatGPT. New technologies make it easier to create and distribute content – both textual and visual – thus increasing the risk of spreading misinformation," commented Dmytro Pleshakov, co-founder and CEO of Osavul.

Osavul will use the funds to develop the platform, focusing on integrating the LLM technologies to analyze the information environment. Its three products are designed to help organizations understand whether a specific narrative can be viewed as a threat, what is its potential impact, and how it spreads.

Dmytro Bilash, Co-Founder and CBDO at Osavul, told Cybernews that disinformation campaigns the company has observed are designed to have a global impact and promote particular views or sway a certain social group's opinion.

One of the most common narratives promoted by Russia is portraying the Ukrainian government as corrupt and misusing the resources provided by the West. Naturally, it is designed to decrease the support of Ukraine in the global arena.

Some narratives are being spread in small communities - cities, neighborhoods, or specific social groups.

"Such disinformation has a less widespread impact, but it is more targeted and can be even more dangerous. These narratives may not be noticed from a global perspective, but they can spread quickly and influence the real-life actions of a particular group of people," Bilash said.

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