AI is the thing everyone wants to use. Social media is in love with artificial intelligence. Of course, much as the cry went up when computers first appeared, some people say that "AI will take our jobs."
Facebook has almost 2 billion users. Those users post a lot of content. Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that live video is a big part of the future of Facebook. But the company has come in for a lot of criticism for violent video posted this year, including murder and suicide.
How does Facebook (and other social media companies) decide what content violates its community standards? They all are desperately implementing and experimenting with AI, but they still rely mostly on humans.
Facebook announced recently that it is using an AI system designed to identify users contemplating suicide or self-harm. How? By using pattern recognition to determine if a post and its comments resemble previous posts identified as being about self-harm. Facebook is also including clearer options for reporting posts that appear to indicate self-harm. It is people reporting to people who determine inappropriateness.
AI-based image-recognition tools that users can use are assisting human moderators now. Can the 54,000 potential cases of sexually related extortion and revenge porn reportedly posted each month can be found and deleted by AI? Not yet.
Did you see the film Hidden Figures ? In the early 1960s, the mathematicians working at NASA were called "computers" - people who did computations. But those human computers also saw the entry of IBM mainframes into NASA that were better computers. They realized they would need to become the humans who could program those electronic computers if they wanted to keep working. Take note Facebook and other companies - and anyone who wants to work for those companies: AI requires human intelligence.
After 2 murders were broadcast live on Facebook in April. Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would add 3000 employees to the already 4500 employees who work on their Community team reviewing reports on videos. Live video is growing rapidly online, and Facebook Live is a service with 1.9 billion monthly users to broadcast video. Lawmakers in Germany and the UK have also been pressuring social networks to better remove illegal hate speech and clamp down on fake news. The 3000 new workers will monitor all Facebook content not just live videos. This team would operate around the world and will most likely be virtual contract employees.
Just last week, Facebook's "leaked" guidelines for dealing with these types of situations became public that hopefully can make a big difference in preventing suicide and other life-threatening situations.