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Facebook says it's getting better at using AI to take down hate speech

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Facebook has spent years building and deploying artificial intelligence to stamp out hate speech on its massive social network. The company says it's now using the technology to proactively spot nearly 95% of such content that it takes down. That remaining 5%, however, may be tricky to resolve.

On Thursday, Facebook said its AI systems detected 94. 7% of the 22. 1 million pieces of hate-speech content it removed from the social site in the third quarter of 2020; this is up from AI spotting 80. 5% of the 6. 9 million pieces of content it took down in the same quarter a year ago.

In 2017, the company was able to use AI to proactively detect far less hate speech — 24% of the total hate-related content it took down at the time.

Like many other social networks, Facebook relies on AI to help a crew of humans moderate an ever-growing mountain of content on its eponymous platform and Instagram, which it also owns.

In a video call with reporters on Wednesday, Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, explained some of the latest AI tools Facebook is using to find harmful content before it goes viral, such as one that uses online data from Facebook systems to improve, rather than a set of data offline.

He said his goal is to keep pushing the technology forward until as few people as possible see objectionable content on the social network.

Schroepfer said Facebook is now working on detecting hateful memes; the company rolled out a publicly available data set related to such content in the spring in hopes of helping researchers improve detection capabilities.

As an example of content that could be hurtful but might fly under the AI radar, he cited an image of a cemetery overlaid with the text "you belong here. "

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