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“The Horrors of Fake News Today – Can it be Stopped?” with Ash Bhat and Rohan Phadte

Wed, February 7, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Register to Attend


Ash Bhat

At the age of 16, Ash had sold a software company that built personalized mobile applications for high schools and school districts. His junior year of high school, he dropped out of school and co-founded 1StudentBody.

At 1StudentBody, Ash built applications that were used in over a third of all US high schools, recruited and led the mobile engineering team, and assisted in raising millions of dollars in venture capital. In 2014, Ash founded Tetherball, a company focused on building peer to peer solutions for internet connectivity. The company was acquired in 2015.

Currently, Ash is focusing his time on projects around social impact. In 2017, he launched RoBhat Labs, with his college roommate Rohan, a company focused on tackling the spread of fake news and misinformation.

Rohan Phadte

At the age of 13, Rohan had delved into the world of robotics, when he first built his own pathfinding robot. In high school, he developed auto-tracking machine vision algorithms and was invited to national level robotic competitions.

In 2014, he conducted research at NASA Ames Research Center, focusing on nano-satellite data collection technology and positional satellite tracking. More recently, Rohan’s focus shifted into the artificial intelligence and cryptography space. Since then, he has developed natural language processing algorithms for online social media platforms and perception algorithms for companies in the self-driving car industry.

Now, Rohan applies state-of-the-art machine learning methods to prevent the spread of misinformation and fake news along with his co-founder Ash.


Fake news played a role in the 2016 elections and have only become a larger issue since then. From compromised accounts spreading propaganda to websites that imitate legitimate new organizations, fake news can be seen everywhere. Together we’ll see how misinformation spreads, where it exists, and talk through potential paths that we can take to tackle this issue.

Free and open to the public. Register online by Monday for a free lunch at UC Berkeley. The CITRIS Research Exchange Seminar Series is a weekly dialogue highlighting leading voices on societal-scale research issues. Each one-hour seminar starts at 12pm Pacific time and is hosted live at Sutardja Dai Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.

Live broadcast at  https://www.youtube.com/user/citrisuc/live.
Ask questions live on Twitter: #CITRISRE.  All talks may be viewed on
our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/citrisuc/playlists