Facebook Announces Anti-Terrorism AI to Build a Safer Global Community

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg published a long missive on Thursday outlining plans to use his social media platform to build a safer global community. In the 5,500-word letter, he voiced concerns about the rising tide of anti-globalization sentiment that has swept across nations throughout the world.

Zuckerberg noted that, “in times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”

One concrete contribution Zuckerberg believes his social network can make is building the technology to identify dangers and problems before they occur. To that end, Zuckerberg announced plans to develop an artificial intelligence that would review content posted on Facebook, sifting through billions of daily posts and flagging instances of bullying and harassment, potential suicides, violence, and terrorism.

Zuckerberg admitted that his company had made missteps in the past year when it came to blocking offensive and dangerous content, observing that “the complexity of the issues we’ve seen has outstripped our existing processes for governing the community.” Last year, Facebook became embroiled in controversy and faced accusations of censorship for taking down videos connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and the iconic “Napalm Girl” photo.

While the Facebook chief admitted that an AI reviewing software is “still very early in development” and that the algorithms would take years to develop, he announced that an early version of it already generates one-third of all reports for the Facebook content review team.

Zuckerberg also said that his company was researching ways to use AI to block the dissemination of terrorist propaganda without censoring legitimate news. “Right now, we’re starting to explore ways to use AI to tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda,” he said. “This is technically difficult as it requires building AI that can read and understand news, but we need to work on this to help fight terrorism worldwide.”

Eventually, Facebook hopes that the AI will help identify and remove all illegal posts, while advanced algorithms allow users to filter their News Feeds according to their preferences.

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