Carnegie Mellon University

Ankit Shah's Hackathon team built FactGPT, a fact-checker for language models

December 14, 2023

LTI Student Wins NYC AI Hackathon

PhD Student Ankit Shah's team win for their project "FactGPT"

By Bryan Burtner

Bryan Burtner

A team including LTI PhD student Ankit Shah won the top prize this year at the NYC AI GPT Hackathon. The team, which also included computer scientists from New York University, Google DeepMind, Magic Eden and Tupelo, came in first place at April 2023 edition of the event, hosted by Cornell University in New York City.

The team’s winning project, named FactGPT, is an automated fact checker for language models, conditioned on a knowledge base provided by Hackathon organizers. The team utilized Wikipedia embeddings released by Cohere AI, placed in the Pinecone vector database.

“Imagine you're reading a statement online and you're unsure if it's true. Our tool, FactGPT, acts like a detective that quickly checks a huge library of facts (Wikipedia in this case) to tell you how true that statement is and whether it can be trusted.,” Shah explained.

The Hackathon, sponsored by organizations including OpenAI, Anthropic AI and Bloomberg Beta, invited 100 AI researchers and engineers to compete while also presenting on their research, meeting major contributors to AI research, and discussing the latest developments in Large Language Models.

“The event was a fantastic opportunity to learn from experienced researchers and build applications through the explosion of generative AI models,” Shah said. “The event included talks from research experts and key startup founders so that participants could learn from their first-hand experience in the field and where the applications are headed towards post providing a brief overview of their individual works.”

After the lectures and discussions, competitors were given six hours to work as teams on their projects, after which each team gave a five-minute presentation of their work to judges that included representatives from the event’s sponsor organizations.

Reflecting on the win, Shah described it as “an exhilarating experience.”

“Being recognized among a pool of talented individuals and innovative projects is truly humbling and motivates us to continue refining our solutions and exploring new frontiers in AI,” he said.

Shah also participated in the most recent iteration of the NYC AI Hackathon, creating CitySav, an intelligent assistant aimed at helping non-native English speakers to find and access government resources in New York City.

For more information on FactGPT, see the project's demo website.