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Facebook rolls out fresh changes with new Signals to ‘better identify and rank authentic Content’

Facebook considers signals like your proximity to the person or page posting, or likes, comments and shares to rank content

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New York, Feb 1, 2017: In a bid to display more relevant stories on its News Feed, Facebookhas rolled out fresh changes with new signals to ‘better identify and rank authentic content’.

The changes will also have a new real-time prediction algorithm to spot stories that might be relevant to you faster.

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According to a report in Next Web on Wednesday, Facebook’s new signals tap one of its core values — authentic communication — to bring stories to your News Feed that have a higher chance of resonating, and not those considered “misleading, sensational, or spammy”.

Facebook considers signals like your proximity to the person or page posting, or likes, comments and shares to rank content.

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To do this, “Facebookfirst attempts to identify pages known for posting spam or trying to game the algorithm through means it deems inappropriate, like asking for likes, shares, or comments. This data is then used to train a model to continually identify these types of posts in an attempt to keep them out of your News Feed,” the report said.

If some posts are hidden, that indicates that such content is not meant for a particular user, contrary to the authentic content which will appear higher in your News Feed.

Facebookis also trying to be faster at spotting authentic content and making it appear on the user’s News Feed.

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This update notes how universal signals change in real time.

“For example, if an article from The Washington Post (a page you subscribe to) is generating a lot of buzz, the algorithm will deem this important and place it higher in your feed, quicker,” the report added. (IANS)

 

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Blind Facebook employee is developing tech for sightless

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform.

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A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
  • A blind Facebook employee is developing AI to make social network for sightless fun
  • He is developing AI which will verbalise images and videos
  • This technology will enable alt-text for images and videos

A blind Facebook employee is developing a technology that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to verbalise the content of an image or video and enable the visually impaired to “see” and determine appropriate content for people and advertisers.

Facebook engineer Matt King is leading a project that is making solutions for visually impaired people on the platform that could eventually be used to identify images and videos that violate Facebook’s terms of use or that advertisers want to avoid.

Also Read : Facebook might bring Stories on desktop 

This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters
This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters

“More than two billion photos are shared across Facebook every single day. That’s a situation where a machine-based solution adds a lot more value than a human-based solution ever could,” CNBC quoted King as saying late on Saturday.

King, who was born with a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, lost his vision by the time he got his degree and started working at IBM with the tech giant’s accessibility projects.

He worked on a screen reader to help visually impaired people “see” what is on their screens either through audio cues or a braille device. IBM eventually developed the first screen reader for a graphical interface.

He worked with the accessibility team till Facebook hired him from IBM in 2015.

The man behind this development is Matt King.
The man behind this development is Matt King.

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform, like adding captions to videos or coming up with ways to navigate the site using only audio cues.

“Anybody who has any kind of disability can benefit from Facebook. They can develop beneficial connections and understand their disability doesn’t have to define them, to limit them,” King said.

Also Read : Facebook Profit Escalates with No Major Impact from Russia and it’s Advertisements

One of his main projects is “automated alt-text,” which describes audibly what is in Facebook images.

When automated alt-text was launched in April 2016, it was only available in five languages on the iOS app. Today it is available in over 29 languages on Facebook on the web, iOS and Android.

Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay
Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay

“The things people post most frequently kind of has a limited vocabulary associated with it,” the Facebook engineer said.

“It makes it possible for us to have one of those situations where if you can tackle 20 per cent of the solution, it tackles 80 per cent of the problem. It’s getting that last 20 per cent which is a lot of work, but we’re getting there,” he said.

In December 2017, Facebook pushed an automatic alt-text update that used facial recognition to help visually impaired people find out who is in photos. IANS