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Facebook Wants Artificial Intelligence To Filter Live Videos And Take Down Offensive Content

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As more and more people use Facebook Live inappropriately, it's getting harder for the company to make sure offensive content — such as live rape and a murder spree — doesn't bypass strict monitoring and filtering policies.

But as Facebook knows, no system is perfect. As a result, murders, sexual assault, and other ill-activities are broadcast on Facebook and often stay live for hours or even days before any action is taken. Not only does this potentially cause traumatic effects for viewers, it also highlights Facebook's inability to control its own services.

Facebook Live Will Be A Safer Place Moving Forward Thanks To Machine Learning

So, to make sure this doesn't continue happening, Facebook is enlisting the help of machine learning. The company is reportedly making its own chips for filtering video content, says chief artificial intelligence scientist Yann LeCun during a talk at the Viva Technology conference in Paris on May 25.

Because of Facebook's massive user population, conventional filtering methods simply aren't enough anymore as they require too much energy and compute power, said LeCun, as Bloomberg reports.

Facebook currently leverages CPUs from Intel for its AI needs, according to engineering manager Kim Hazelwood. Switching to its own chips specialized for video filtering can help the company more quickly address bad Facebook Live agents, such as if a person commits suicide in a livestream or if they perform other acts of violence toward themselves or others.

If it works as well as described, Facebook may be able to prevent offensive content from appearing in livestreams even with little to no human intervention.

"Let's imagine someone uses Facebook Live to film their own suicide or murder. You'd like to be able to take down that kind of content as it happens," said LeCun.

Facebook Is Making Its Own Processors

Last month, it was reported that Facebook will begin manufacturing its own semiconductors instead of relying on third parties for such components. This seems like an entirely new venture for Facebook, but as LeCun suggests, it's not entirely outside of its ballpark.

"Facebook has worked on hardware before: It makes its own server design, motherboards, its own communications chips for data centers. So this is not completely new for Facebook," said LeCun. It's true. Facebook is already using AI for detecting and eliminating extremist propaganda, fake accounts, and hate speech. But its current form isn't sophisticated enough to handle many pressing issues on the social network.

Among the other companies reportedly experimenting with its own chips for specialized AI processing are Apple, Amazon, and Google.

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