The topic of transmission towers built to facilitate mobile phone service is well known and some people are of the opinion that mobile phone transmission towers are wreaking havoc on the country.
LIRNEasia in partnership with the Yarl IT Hub, Jaffna and Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind, Kaithady launched a project titled, Inclusive Technology for Persons with Disabilities: Mobilization in the Northern Province. This is a part of the disability research LIRNEasia is conducting in India and Sri Lanka with funding from Ford Foundation.
We present a dataset consisting of 3576 documents in Sinhala, drawn from Sri Lankan news websites and factchecking operations, annotated as CREDIBLE, FALSE, PARTIAL or UN- CERTAIN. The dataset has markers for the content of the document, the classification, the web domain from which each document was retrieved, and the date on which the document was published. We also present the results of misinformation classification models built for the Sinhala language, as well as comparisons to English benchmarks, and suggest that for smaller media ecosystems it may make more practical sense to model uncertainty instead of truth vs falsehood binaries.
This study looked to understand the experiences of 35 individuals during a lockdown in the Gampaha district. The last mile service delivery experiences – particularly in the areas of access to goods, education, cash and medicine – were some of the areas to which particular attention was paid.
Successful reform of telecom (or information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure) sectors requires ex-ante, sector-specific regulation under present market and technological conditions. Theories and concepts relevant to regulatory agency design and the practice are not nation-specific.
As hate speech on social media becomes an ever-increasing problem, policymakers may look to more authoritarian measures for policing content. Several countries have already, at some stage, banned networks such as Facebook and Twitter (Liebelson, 2017).
This paper presents two colloquial Sinhala language corpora from the language efforts of the Data, Analysis and Policy team of LIRNEasia, as well as a list of algorithmically derived stopwords. The larger of the two corpora spans 2010 to 2020 and contains 28,825,820 to 29,549,672 words of multilingual text posted by 533 Sri Lankan Facebook pages, including politics, media, celebrities, and other categories; the smaller corpus amounts to 5,402,76 words of only Sinhala text extracted from the larger.
We summarize the state of progress in artificial intelligence as used for classifying misinforma- tion, or ’fake news’. Making a case for AI in an assistive capacity for factchecking, we briefly examine the history of the field, divide current work into ’classical machine learning’ and ’deep learning’, and for both, examine the work that has led to certain algorithms becoming the de facto standards for this type of text classification task.
In a practical experiment, we benchmark five common text classification algorithms - Naive Bayes, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines, Random Forests, and eXtreme Gradient Boosting - on multiple misinformation datasets, accounting for both data-rich and data-poor environments.
Data usage in Sri Lanka has exploded by a hundred percent between March 2020 and the beginning of July 2021, with increasing complaints against service providers over speeds, connection drops and bad quality.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stresses on food supply chains due to momentous shifts in demand and significant restrictions in the supply value chain and supply.
LIRNEasia Chair, Rohan Samarajiva shared a message with students in Sri Lanka who have completed their formal education on SLVLOG Good Vibes.
The network is looking to bridge some of the gaps working with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Health to provide relief to those who need it the most.
LIRNEasia Chair, Rohan Samarajiva and I  attended the first drafting group meeting for developing the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Action Plan 2022-2026 on 25 May. The meeting was convened by UNESCAP, and chaired by Mohamed Shareef, Maldives' newly appointed State Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology. 
Intended for policymakers, technologists, educators and others, this international collection of 19 short stories delves into AI’s cultural impacts with hesitation and wonder.
Information collection (or data collection) is vital during an epidemic, especially for purposes such as contact tracing and quarantine monitoring. However, it also poses challenges such as keeping up with the spread of the infectious disease, and the need to protect personally identifiable information. We explore some of the methods of information collection deployed in Sri Lanka and Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer policy recommendations for future pandemics.