Animation showing how the Facebook algorithm awards points to a post
Social Media

How Facebook Fills the Feed: Leaked Documents Show How Facebook's Algorithm Works

Facebook’s recommendation algorithm is a closely guarded secret. Newly leaked documents shed light on the company’s formula for prioritizing posts in an individual user’s feed.
GIF showing a zoomed in human mouth speaking through a headset microphone
Social Media

Your Voice, Your Choice: AI-Powered Tool Modifies Voices in Real Time

A startup enables people who participate in voice chat to use realistic artificial voices in real time. What’s new: Massachusetts-based Modulate offers a voice-masking tool to forestall harassment of people, particularly women and trans individuals,
A surveillance camera over the Washington Monument
Social Media

White House Supports Limits on AI: U.S. Rules Protect Citizens from AI-Powered Surveillance and Discrimination

As governments worldwide mull their AI strategies and policies, the Biden administration called for a “bill of rights” to mitigate adverse consequences.What’s new: Top advisors to the U.S. president announced a plan to issue rules
Charts showing the impact of Instagram in different topics
Social Media

The Social Nightmare: Facebook Whistleblower Exposes How Company Harms Users

Scrutiny of Facebook intensified after a whistleblower leaked internal research showing the company has known that its ongoing drive to engage users has harmed individuals and society at large.
Screen capture showing a Chinese app's food recommendations
Social Media

Rules for Recommenders: China Bans Harmful Recommendation Algorithms

China moved toward a clamp down on recommendation algorithms.What’s new: China’s internet regulatory agency proposed rules that include banning algorithms that spread disinformation and threaten national security.
PimEyes working with pictures of Andrew Ng
Social Media

Face Recognition for the Masses

Face recognition tech tends to be marketed to government agencies, but PimEyes offers a web app that lets anyone scan the internet for photos of themself — or anyone they have a picture of. The company says it aims to help people control their online presence and fight identity theft.
Libel-detection system from CaliberAI.
Social Media

Double Check for Defamation: NLP System Scans Text for Libel

A libel-detection system could help news outlets and social media companies stay out of legal hot water. CaliberAI, an Irish startup, scans text for statements that could be considered defamatory, Wired reported.
Facebook like and dislike buttons
Social Media

Social Engagement vs. Social Good

Facebook’s management obstructed the architect of its recommendation algorithms from mitigating their negative social impact. The social network focused on reining in algorithmic bias against particular groups of users at the expense of efforts to reduce disinformation.
Person in wheelchair, person in side profile, person wearing a hoodie
Social Media

Human Disabilities Baffle Algorithms

Facebook’s content moderation algorithms block many advertisements aimed at disabled people. The social media platform’s automated systems regularly reject ads for clothing designed for people with physical disabilities.
Group of people having a snowball fight and covering with a giant Facebook like button
Social Media

Algorithms Against Disinformation

The worldwide pandemic and a contentious U.S. election whipped up a storm of automated disinformation, and some big AI companies reaped the whirlwind.
Examples of Xpression app working (people in pajamas looking like they're wearing suits)
Social Media

GAN Makes Pajamas Safe For Work

A new camera app uses a generative adversarial network to let users look like they’re dressed for success while they videoconference in their jammies. Xpression is an iPhone app that maps facial expressions onto till images in real time, allowing users to look clothed in digital costumes.
Forbidden sign over different potentially dangerous falsehood symbols
Social Media

YouTube vs. Conspiracy Theorists

Facing a tsunami of user-generated disinformation, YouTube is scrambling to stop its recommendation algorithm from promoting videos that spread potentially dangerous falsehoods.
Series of pictures of people smiling
Social Media

Deepfakes for Good

A strategy manifesto from one of China’s biggest tech companies declares, amid familiar visions of ubiquitous AI, that deepfakes are more boon than bane.
Illustration of a broken heart with a smirk in the middle
Social Media

Outing Hidden Hatred: Facebook uses NLP and Vision AI to Detect Hateful Posts

Facebook uses automated systems to block hate speech, but hateful posts can slip through when seemingly benign words and pictures combine to create a nasty message. The social network is tackling this problem by enhancing AI’s ability to recognize context.
Angry emoji over dozens of Facebook like buttons
Social Media

Facebook Likes Extreme Content

Facebook’s leadership has thwarted changes in its algorithms aimed at making the site less polarizing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The social network’s own researchers determined that its AI software promotes divisive content.

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