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Facebook to Mentor Start-ups Leveraging AI

According to the company, to date, more than 35 million people have signed up to be donors globally

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Social networking giant Facebook on Wednesday launched the “India Innovation Accelerator” programme with a focus on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social Good”, under which it would mentor and support promising start-ups which are leveraging AI to address gaps within high social impact areas.

“We are an ally for India’s economic growth and social development and this summit is our effort to understand how we can contribute to the development of deep tech in India, as well as corral resources to use these technologies to develop impactful solutions for tough and persistent problems,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.

The social media giant also launched “100 Scholarships for students and developers” who are focused on nurturing their ideas for utilising AI for social good. The scholarships would enable the students to gain access to advanced courses on Deep Learning.

It also launched “Women in AI Hackathons” which is aimed at encouraging diversity within the ecosystem by motivating women developers and women-led start-ups focused on AI.

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

The winners would be provided courses on AI and machine learning (ML) by professors of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras.

“At Facebook we are also committed to growing the local AI ecosystem, which can be achieved by providing support to start-ups, to the student community, and by ensuring diversity within the ecosystem itself,” added Mohan.

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Another popular Facebook tool under the “AI for Social Good” initiative is its Blood Donation tool which helps connect blood banks and hospitals to blood donors who have registered themselves on the platform.

According to the company, to date, more than 35 million people have signed up to be donors globally. (IANS)

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US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)