Automated fact checking: Task formulations, methods and future directions
The recently increased focus on misinformation has stimulated research in fact checking, the task of assessing the truthfulness of a claim. Research in automating this task has been conducted in a variety of disciplines including natural language processing, machine learning, knowledge representation, databases, and journalism. While there has been substantial progress, relevant papers and articles have been published in research communities that are often unaware of each other and use inconsistent terminology, thus impeding understanding and further progress. In this paper we survey automated fact checking research stemming from natural language processing and related disciplines, unifying the task formulations and methodologies across papers and authors. Furthermore, we highlight the use of evidence as an important distinguishing factor among them cutting across task formulations and methods. We conclude with proposing avenues for future NLP research on automated fact checking.