Facebook believes Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the answer to almost every issue it faces, from proposing dinner recommendations to censoring content. However, the social media giant faced its own technological limitations this week when a Facebook user live-streamed a murder.
Mark Zuckerberg himself weighed in on the murder while speaking at the F8 developer conference this week, and while he didn’t outright apologize for allowing the video to remain posted for so long, he did admit the site must do better.
“We have a lot more to do here. We’re reminded of this this week by the tragedy in Cleveland,” he said. “And we have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”
However, Zuckerberg also defended Facebook’s AI capabilities, noting that over half of all flagged content on the site was reported by AI. He also said that, in a perfect world, AI will work with users, not replace them, when it comes to reporting content.
“This is an area where there are two forces that are coming together,” he said. “There’s this community that is helping people to solve problems on an unprecedented scale. At the same time, we’re developing new technologies that augment what this community can do.”
As the New York Times technology column and others pointed out, it is easy to teach a machine to recognize basic things like nudity, but it’s much harder for it to judge the intent behind actions — like violence. But if Facebook wants to stay in the live video game, it needs to figure out a better way to prevent a tragic videos like this from getting posted and recirculated again.