Tag: Social

Twitter rolls out new reply controls to combat trolls

In an effort to make Twitter seem less like a cesspool, the company is rolling out new settings that will allow all users to control who can reply to tweets. Twitter began testing the feature earlier this year and said the results of that experiment convinced it to make the tools available to all users starting […]

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Facebook claims it proactively detected 95% of hate speech removed in Q2 2020

About 22.5 million pieces of content published to Facebook were removed for violating the company’s hate speech policies in Q2 2020. The metric comes from Facebook’s latest Community Standards Enforcement Report covering April 2020 through June 2020, which suggests the company’s AI detected 95% of hate speech taken down in Q2. That’s up from 88.8% […]

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Simpplr raises $10 million for its AI-powered intranet platform

Simpplr today raised $10 million for its AI-powered intranet platform, which is designed to streamline communications. CEO Dhiraj Sharma says the funds will be used to drive customer adoption during the pandemic as Simpplr develops new products and extends its partner ecosystem. With people increasingly work from home, businesses have put a renewed focus on […]

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Apple’s EU antitrust case targets App Store limits on Microsoft and Facebook gaming apps

(Reuters) – Facebook and Microsoft’s grievances over how their gaming apps appear on Apple’s App Store may feed into an EU investigation into the iPhone maker’s business as EU antitrust regulators said such concerns are on their radar. The European Commission in June opened four probes into Apple, three of which are into its App […]

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Michigan University study advocates ban of facial recognition in schools

A newly published study by University of Michigan researchers shows facial recognition technology in schools presents multiple problems and has limited efficacy. Led by Shobita Parthasarathy, director of the university’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program, the research say the technology isn’t suited to security purposes and can actively promote racial discrimination, normalize surveillance, […]

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ProBeat: Microsoft wants TikTok for the same reason the U.S. fears China

It’s been a month since U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration was considering banning TikTok. Plenty has happened since, but the situation really accelerated last weekend. In the span of a couple hours, we learned that President Trump was planning to sign an order directing China’s ByteDance to divest its ownership […]

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Trump bans U.S. transactions with TikTok and WeChat starting September 20

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled sweeping bans on U.S. transactions with China’s ByteDance, owner of video-sharing app TikTok, and Tencent, operator of messenger app WeChat, in a major escalation of tensions with Beijing. The executive orders, which go into effect in 45 days, come after the Trump administration said this week […]

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Researchers discover evidence of gender bias in major computer vision APIs

The facial recognition APIs offered by Google, Microsoft, and IBM exhibit gender bias when tested on self-portraits of people wearing partial face masks. That’s according to data scientists at marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson, who found that popular computer vision services like Cloud Vision API and Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision more often misidentify the […]

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Researchers say ‘The Whiteness of AI’ in pop culture erases people of color

Depictions of artificial intelligence in popular culture as mostly white can carry a number of consequences, including the erasure of people who are not white, according to research released today by researchers from the University of Cambridge. The authors say the normalization of predominant depictions of AI as white can influence people aspiring to enter the […]

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Salesforce open-sources the AI Economist, a research environment for exploring tax policies

In April, Salesforce detailed the AI Economist, a research environment designed to elucidate how economic design might be improved with AI. The company pledged to eventually make available the codebase in open source, and today marks the release of the initial version. Studies have shown that income inequality gaps can negatively impact economic growth, opportunity, […]

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Facebook removes Trump post for violating coronavirus misinformation rules

(Reuters) — Facebook on Wednesday took down a post by U.S. President Donald Trump, which the company said violated its rules against sharing misinformation about the coronavirus. The post contained a video clip, from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day, in which Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19. […]

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Trump gives Microsoft 45 days to seal TikTok deal

(Reuters) — President Donald Trump only agreed to allow Microsoft to negotiate the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok if it could secure a deal in 45 days, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The move represents an about-face for Trump and prompted the U.S. tech giant to declare its interest in […]

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Antitrust experts weigh in on breaking up Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

Gary Reback is perhaps best known as the lawyer who helped convince the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in the 1990s. He watched the majority of the House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook […]

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ByteDance and Microsoft offer White House a deal to keep TikTok in the U.S.

(Reuters) — China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday. U.S. officials have said TikTok […]

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Researchers examine the ethical implications of AI in surgical settings

A new whitepaper coauthored by researchers at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence examines the ethics of AI in surgery, making the case that surgery and AI carry similar expectations but diverge with respect to ethical understanding. Surgeons are faced with moral and ethical dilemmas as a matter of course, the paper points out, whereas […]

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Facebook beats Q2 estimates with $18.69 billion in revenue and 2.7 billion monthly active users

(Reuters) — Facebook beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday, as more businesses used its digital advertising tools to tap a surge in online traffic during the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of the world’s biggest social network jumped 4% in extended trading. Revenue growth at Facebook, the world’s second-biggest seller of online ads after Alphabet’s […]

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Carnegie Mellon researchers use Twitch to collect sounds for AI research

Carnegie Mellon researchers designed a live-streaming video game to collect audio from players that’ll populate a database for AI research. The team’s game — Rolling Rhapsody — is specifically designed to be played on Twitch, and it tasks streamers with rolling a ball across a map to collect “treasure” while viewers record sound from their […]

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Foresight’s AI-powered wearable helps low-vision users feel the world

Vision is arguably the most important of the five basic senses, providing most people with the ability to navigate through the world — but there are 285 million visually impaired people worldwide who need assistance to augment their sight. In some cases, the best solution might be a large vision-boosting headset, but a less conspicuous […]

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The AI Foundation raises $17 million to create digital AI-powered personas

The AI Foundation, which ambitiously hopes to develop “ethical” trainable AI agents to complete various tasks, today closed a $17 million funding round. A spokesperson said the funds will be used to scale the company’s platform, which allows people to create personas mirroring their own. As the pandemic makes virtual meetups a regular occurrence, the […]

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Antitrust hearing: Amazon, Facebook, and Google were questioned 2x more than Apple

At the “Online Platforms and Market Power” virtual antitrust hearing today, the House Judiciary Committee questioned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai over Webex. But they weren’t all questioned equally. Most of the questions were directed at Bezos, Zuckerberg, and Pichai — each of […]

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Tech CEOs will survive antitrust hearings but can’t stop investigations

Given my background as a political science major, lawyer, and journalist, I shouldn’t be dispassionate about today’s Congressional antitrust hearing on the market power of online platforms, which will bring the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google into a single (virtual) space for questioning. This is the sort of feat that only a governmental body can pull […]

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AFTR debuts $500 gravesite cameras with ‘eternal connection’ 4G plans

Losing a loved one or friend was difficult enough in the pre-COVID-19 era, with the dual traumas of death and burial. But these challenges have only deepened as the pandemic prevents people from visiting hospitals and participating in services. Today, Brooklyn-based startup AFTR is unveiling hardware and service solutions to make the cemetery experience easier […]

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Microsoft launches Family Safety app for Android and iOS

Microsoft has launched its Family Safety app for Android and iOS, enabling parents to manage their kids’ app usage and screen time. The company first announced the app back in March, before rolling it out in limited preview two months later — today sees the app made available for one and all. The Family Safety […]

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eSight 4 bolsters the sight-enhancing wearable’s displays and design

Although the wearable headset market focuses largely on virtual and augmented reality, some of the screen, camera, and form factor innovations are making significant differences for low-sight users — people who would love to enjoy plain old reality without needing eye surgery. Today, Canadian assistive vision company eSight is updating its family of vision-enhancing wearables with […]

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Facebook sues EU antitrust regulator for seeking ‘irrelevant’ personal employee data

(Reuters) — Facebook is suing EU antitrust regulators for seeking information beyond what is necessary, including highly personal details, for their investigations into the company’s data and marketplace, the U.S. social media group said on Monday. Facebook has been under EU competition enforcers’ scrutiny since last year, with one investigation focused on its trove of […]

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1,000 Twitter workers had access to internal tools that hackers could exploit

(Reuters) — More than a thousand Twitter employees and contractors as of earlier this year had access to internal tools that could change user account settings and hand control to others, two former employees said, making it hard to defend against the hacking that occurred last week. Twitter and the FBI are investigating the breach […]

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Twitter revenue falls 19% in Q2 2020, monetizable users rise 34%

Twitter has reported strong user growth for Q2 2020, though revenue — which was already widely expected to be down — fell below analysts’ expectation. The social networking giant announced its most recent financial and user metrics this morning, revealing revenues of $686 million — a  year-on-year (YoY) decrease of 19% on the $841 million reported […]

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Facebook details the AI simulation tool it built to find bugs and vulnerabilities

Facebook today detailed Web-Enabled Simulation (WAS), an approach to building large-scale simulations of complex social networks. As previously reported, WES leverages AI techniques to train bots to simulate people’s behaviors on social media, which Facebook says it hopes to use to uncover bugs and vulnerabilities. In person and online, people act and interact with one […]

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Microsoft reports $38 billion in Q4 2020 revenue: Azure up 47%, Surface up 28%, and LinkedIn up 10%

Microsoft today reported earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2020, including revenue of $38.0 billion, net income of $11.2 billion, and earnings per share of $1.46 (compared to revenue of $33.7 billion, net income of $13.2 billion, and earnings per share of $1.71 in Q4 2019). All three of the company’s operating groups saw […]

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Slack files EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft for bundling Teams with Office

Slack has filed an anticompetition complaint against Microsoft in Europe, arguing that the software giant “illegally” bundles Teams into its omnipresent Microsoft Office product. Microsoft launched its Slack-style enterprise communication Teams platform back in 2016, and the two companies have enjoyed some healthy rivalry — Slack even went so far as to take out a […]

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