Facebook New AI tech spots hate speech faster

first_img Share your voice Culture Sci-Tech Tech Industry 7 Facebook’s AI engineers have embraced a technology called self-supervised learning so the social network’s technology can adapt faster to challenges like spotting new forms of hate speech.Artificial intelligence is sweeping the tech industry, and beyond, as the new method for getting computers to recognize patterns and make decisions catches on. With today’s AI technology called deep learning, you can get a computer to recognize a cat by training it with lots of pictures of cats, instead of figuring out how to define cat characteristics like two eyes, pointy ears and whiskers.Self-supervised learning, though, needs vastly less training data than regular AI training, which cuts the time needed to assemble training data and train a system. For example, self-supervised learning methods have cut the amount of training data needed by a factor of 10, Manohar Paluri, an AI research leader at Facebook, said Wednesday at the company’s F8 developer conference.And that speed is critical to making Facebook fun and safe, not a cesspool of toxic comments, misinformation, abuse and scams.”It’s really easy to lose hope, to pack up and go home,” Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said in a keynote speech. “But we can’t do that. We’re here to bring a better future to people with technology.”Fixing Facebook with AIPaluri boasted that Facebook’s AI is improving many problems on the world’s largest social network: bullying, hate speech, violence, terrorist propaganda, child nudity, spam, adult content and fake accounts.But it’s got a long way to go, as speakers acknowledged at the conference, especially in recognizing problematic videos like those of the New Zealand mosque shootings in March. And that doesn’t even touch on the privacy problems Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he’s trying to fix. Facebook executives blended some contrition with their usual brashness at the conference, an indication that they know they’re not yet out of the woods. Facebook increasingly relies on AI to fix problems like spam and hate speech, CTO Mike Schroepfer said at the company’s F8 developer conference. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET Using AI to help fix some of its problems is a natural idea for engineering-focused Facebook. It’s an AI giant, applying the technology to tasks as difficult as debugging its own software, and employing pioneer Yann LeCun, one of three winners of the prestigious Turing Prize for his AI work this year.Facebook isn’t alone in pursuing AI, which is spreading well beyond the tech world. A survey from consulting firm Deloitte publicized Wednesday found that 57 percent of businesses around the world adopting the technology early expect AI to transform their business — and are often investing now to try to get ahead of an expected broader transformation.But though AI can fix computer science problems, it also adds new ones, like the difficulties in eradicating AI bias, which can reinforce the problems or the advantages some classes of people have in society. How does self-supervised learning work?Self-supervised learning is a new twist on the crucial training phase of AI.Today’s AI training data is typically “supervised,” which means it relies on carefully labeled training data. That data is hard to amass — especially in the vast quantities needed to best train AI systems. Labeled cat photos are abundant, but companies using AI have to spot everything from fraudulent credit card transactions to computer bugs.Facebook uses self-supervised AI training technology to process speech, text, video and photos, said Manohar Paluri, an AI research leader, at Facebook's F8 conference.Enlarge ImageFacebook uses self-supervised AI training technology to process speech, text, video and photos, said Manohar Paluri, an AI research leader, at Facebook’s F8 conference. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET With self-supervised learning, AI uses training data that’s unlabeled, Schroepfer said. But it’s not totally raw data. Instead, some bits are removed, like words from text or rectangles of pixels from photos.That lets AI systems learn patterns by figuring out how to reconstruct what’s missing, and it’s easier to supply the “massive volumes of data” that’re so useful for tasks like natural language processing (NLP), or understanding human speech and text. Facebook also is using self-supervised learning in handling photos, videos and text, Schroepfer said.”You generate the training set and the answers all at once,” Schroepfer said. “Because you’re using so much data, these NLP systems are starting to catch deeper and more nuanced understanding of language.” Comments Tags Artificial intelligence (AI) Facebooklast_img read more

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Pepco Proposes Utility Rate Increase for DC Residents

first_imgThe utility that supplies residential and commercial customers in the District recently decided to apply to the city’s public service commission for a rate increase. Residents aren’t happy about it.Pepco, now affiliated with Chicago-based energy giant Exelon, filed for an $85.47 million rate increase with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia on June 30.  A Pepco press release said it has been three years since a rate increase has been requested. However, Donna Cooper, region president, said she understands the uneasiness the increase may cause some customers. “We realize that a rate increase has a direct impact to our customers and so we will continue to work with our customers to identify ways to reduce their energy usage and manage their bills,” she said. “The reliability and infrastructure upgrades that we have made have reduced the number and length of power outages, while delivering improved service to our valued customers.”The typical bill for a District residential customer would increase by $4.36 per month, the press release said. Exelon would contribute $25.6 million to offset the proposed increase, with the entire amount applied to residential and apartment customers who share a common meter.Exelon also gave customers a one-time residential credit of $54 in April.The commission approves or denies a rate increase through a public process that includes public testimony and input from the Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC). The OPC is charged with advocating for District consumers to keep rate increases as low as possible, to ensure reliability and to educate consumers about the actions of utility companies before the commission. If the rate increase is approved, it will not go into effect until summer 2017.The request for an increase isn’t supported by Andy Litsky, chairman of advisory neighborhood commission 6D in Ward 6. He said he was “appalled” at Pepco’s move. “I received an email on July 1 from Pepco that all chairs of the ANCs got requesting that Pepco representatives be on the agenda at the next meeting,” Litsky told the AFRO. “I told them that I would not allow them to use my commission as a public relations opportunity.”The rate increase request didn’t surprise Litsky but he didn’t expect it so soon after the public service commission voted to support the merger. Litsky wasn’t in support of the merger, saying that it “was forced up on [D.C. ratepayers].”“D.C. consumers shouldn’t subsidize Exelon’s out-of-state holdings,” he said.Sandra Matavous-Frye, the People’s Counsel said, in a June 30 press release, that the rate hike will be the largest ever filed in recent memory. “OPC will be vigilant in examining this monumental filing to ensure that any rate increase is based only on the expenses necessary to keep the lights on and not those associated with Exelon’s lengthy journey to merge with Pepco,” she said. “It is alarming that the cost of living and housing trends in the District unfortunately have widened the gap between the haves and have nots. These trends demand that OPC double-down on its mission to protect District residents in every ward in every utility case.“We must guard against decision-makers imposing policies that are dismissive and insensitive to everyday residential consumers.”OPC also announced a merger compliance team to measure whether the promised benefits of the Exelon-Pepco merger have materialized and whether to appeal to the D.C. Court of Appeals a recent commission decision denying OPC’s request for reconsideration of the merger.A spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said that the administration is committed to protecting the interests of District ratepayers. “The Public Service Commission is charged with evaluating utility rate increases,” Interim Communications Director Christina Harper said on behalf of the mayor. “They should limit the Pepco/Exelon request to the mere requirements of the law. And they must apply the $25.4 million that Mayor Bowser negotiated, and they redirected, toward shielding D.C. residential ratepayers from any increase for three years.”Charles Gaither, a resident of Ward 4, told the AFRO the rate increase didn’t surprise him and agreed with Litsky that the request took place very quickly after the merger. “They are raising the rates because they can,” Gaither said. “Pepco’s reputation is on the line with this. When the power goes out and there is a personal emergency, people will measure Pepco by the way they respond.”last_img read more

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Delhi Police register FIRs on cross complaints

first_imgDelhi Police registered FIRs, on Thursday, based on the cross complaints between AAP leader Dilip Pandey and a Delhi Police head constable. On the night of July 21, Pandey had alleged that the police official tried to crush him with a police van, while he was briefing media outside Rajender Nagar police station in Central Delhi. Later, the police official driving the vehicle also reported that the van had accidentally slipped into a drain. And taking advantage of the situation, he was allegedly manhandled by several AAP workers led by Pandey. The incident led to the registration of cross complaints. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreSenior officials of the concerned range held meetings on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, cross-examining the complaints and mulling over the registration of FIRs, that finally happened on Thursday night, confirmed a senior police official.The charges were yet to be decided by the time this report was filed. Police sources, however, claimed that while one FIR was likely to be registered for rash driving, another was likely to be registered on charges like obstructing a public servant from doing his duty. However, both FIRs were registered against unknown persons, the senior official added.last_img read more

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