Midnight In The Desert — Facebook

Can AI Really Solve Facebook's Problems?

Posted by K R on

Can AI Really Solve Facebook's Problems?

Congress interrogated Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for two days this week over his company’s privacy policies—and its apparent inability to prevent the misuse of its social media platform by some promoting hatred, terrorism or political propaganda. Throughout Zuckerberg’s apologies for not doing more to protect users’ privacy and curb the spread of false and misleading information on the site, he repeatedly reassured lawmakers that artificial intelligence would soon fix many of Facebook’s problems. Whether or not he has a strong case depends on how his company specifically plans to use AI—and how quickly the technology matures over the...

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Facebook Bans Image of Jesus for ‘Excessively Violent Content’

Posted by K R on

Facebook Bans Image of Jesus for ‘Excessively Violent Content’

On Good Friday, the Franciscan University of Steubenville tried to publish a series of Facebook advertisements for an online program in theology, catechetics, and evangelization. The copy for one of the ads included an image of the San Damiano cross, a medieval icon depicting Christ crucified, which is associated with the Franciscan order, which runs the college. According to the university’s web communications director, Tom Crowe, Facebook rejected the ad, stating: “Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.” The original 12th-century San Damiano cross, located at the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi,...

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Why those Facebook product ads are so darn compelling

Posted by K R on

Why those Facebook product ads are so darn compelling

You probably want to own a mattress you’ve seen advertised on Facebook. Or maybe it’s not a mattress you crave, maybe it’s that reinvented bra. It’s the wool shoes. It’s the super soft modal undies. It’s whatever ad (or 20) you’ve been targeted with for the past year. The product itself isn’t even relevant—it’s the marketing strategy that gets you. “People get this psychological gratification from feeling good about their own decision making,” says consumer psychologist and consultant Kit Yarrow. “It feels so good to feel that you figured out the whole mattress thing, and everyone else is still going...

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Facebook AI learns human reactions after watching hours of Skype

Posted by K R on

Facebook AI learns human reactions after watching hours of Skype

There’s something not quite right about humanoid robots. They are cute up to a point, but once they become a bit too realistic, they often start to creep us out – a foible called the uncanny valley. Now Facebook wants robots to climb their way out of it. Researchers at Facebook’s AI lab have developed an expressive bot, an animation controlled by an artificially intelligent algorithm. The algorithm was trained on hundreds of videos of Skype conversations, so that it could learn and then mimic how humans adjust their expressions in response to each other. In tests, it successfully passed...

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How to turn Facebook into a weaponised AI propaganda machine

Posted by K R on

How to turn Facebook into a weaponised AI propaganda machine

Could Facebook really tip the balance in an election? Over the past year firms like AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica have been credited with using AI-targeted ads on social media to help swing the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election respectively. But a lack of evidence meant we have never known whether the technology exists to make this possible. Now the first study detailing the process from start to finish is finally shedding some light. “This is the first time that I’ve seen all the dots connected,” says Joanna Bryson, an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Bath, UK....

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