Tim Collins, Daily Mail, April 11, 2018
Facebook will have AI tools to automatically flag and remove hate speech before it appears within five to ten years, says the firm’s CEO.
Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to address mounting concerns raised in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, from user privacy to targeted ads.
Latest estimates suggest more than 87 million users may have had their data mined by the Trump affiliated consultancy firm through the ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ quiz.
Among the topics under discussion on Capitol Hill yesterday was Facebook’s handling of extreme content.
Zuckerberg says the company has already developed intelligent software tools to root out terrorist propaganda and will continue to develop them for hate speech.
The company hopes to have 20,000 employees working to review security and content issues by the end of 2018, he added.
Zuckerberg made the comments during testimony before a joint hearing with the Senate judiciary and commerce committees.
Nearly all ISIS and al Qaeda content that is removed from Facebook is flagged before ‘any human sees it’, he claimed.
‘That’s a success in terms of rolling out AI tools that can proactively police and enforce safety across the community,’ Zuckerberg added.
‘Hate speech, I am optimistic that over a five to ten year period we’ll have AI tools that can get into some of the nuances, the linguistic nuances of different types of content to be more accurate in flagging things for our systems, but today is just not there on that.’
Commerce committee chairman John Thune asked the billionaire about the difficulties facing his firm in distinguishing between legitimate debate and hate speech.
The Menlo Park company’s boss said that creating technology to tackle hate speech is more of a challenge than other forms of problematic content.
‘Some problems lend themselves more easily to AI solutions than others,’ Zuckerberg said.
Among the topics under discussion on Capitol Hill yesterday was Facebook’s handling of extreme content. The company hopes to have 20,000 employees working to review security and content issues by the end of 2018, he added
‘Hate speech is one of the hardest, because determining if something is hate speech is very linguistically nuanced.
‘You need to understand what is a slur and whether something is hateful, not just in English, but a majority of people on Facebook use it in languages that are different across the world.’
The Facebook CEO also confirmed that the social network isn’t planning on charging its users for the service just yet.
Among the many issues discussed in the hearing, senators hounded Zuckerberg on the possibility that the firm might require users to pay if they wish to use an ad-free Facebook.
The rumours were sparked by COO Sheryl Sandberg’s comments last week, made during an interview with Today, that an ad-free Facebook ‘would be a paid product.’