In its latest maneuver against hate speech and misinformation, Facebook announced this week that it has created a database of 10,000 “hateful memes” that will be made available to researchers. Facebook is also launching a $100,000 prize for researchers to develop further AI models using the data.
Facebook relies heavily on artificial intelligence to remove offensive content, but this kind of technology can have a difficult time parsing images and video. AI first needs to be shown many examples of the offending content before it can take action. And even still, slight changes to an image can help it avoid being found.
“People sharing hate speech often try to elude detection by modifying their content,” Facebook said in a statement. “As we improve our systems to address these challenges, it’s crucial to get it right. Mistakenly classifying content as hate speech can mean preventing people from expressing themselves and engaging with others.”
Thankfully, Facebook says that its newly-trained AI model can recognize copies of hateful memes and even near-duplicates. Considering that the company says a “substantial portion” of the hate speech on its platform lives in images and video, this could potentially be a big breakthrough for cleaning up the site.
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