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Fake Accounts On Social Media Now Able To Copy Human Behaviour

Fake accounts enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI) on social media have evolved and are now able to copy human behaviour

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Social Media Icons. VOA

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that bots or fake accounts enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI) on social media have evolved and are now able to copy human behaviour to avoid detection.

For the study published in the journal First Monday, the research team from the University of Southern California examines bot behaviour during the 2018 US presidential elections compared to bot behaviour during the 2016 US elections.

“Our study further corroborates this idea that there is an arms race between bots and detection algorithms. As social media companies put more efforts to mitigate abuse and stifle automated accounts, bots evolve to mimic human strategies. Advancements in AI enable bots producing more human-like content,” said study lead author Emilio Ferrara.

fake, media, behaviour, artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) on social media have evolved and are now able to copy human behaviour to avoid detection. Pixabay

The researchers studied almost 250,000 social media active users who discussed the US elections both in 2016 and 2018 and detected over 30,000 bots.

They found that bots in 2016 were primarily focused on retweets and high volumes of tweets around the same message.

However, as human social activity online has evolved, so have bots. In the 2018 election season, just as humans were less likely to retweet as much as they did in 2016, bots were less likely to share the same messages in high volume.

Bots, the researchers discovered, were more likely to employ a multi-bot approach as if to mimic authentic human engagement around an idea.

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Also, during the 2018 elections, as humans were much more likely to try to engage through replies, bots tried to establish the voice and add to the dialogue and engage through the use of polls, a strategy typical of reputable news agencies and pollsters, possibly aiming at lending legitimacy to these accounts.

In one example, a bot account posted an online Twitter poll asking if federal elections should require voters to show ID at the polls. It then asked Twitter users to vote and retweet.

“We need to devote more efforts to understand how bots evolve and how more sophisticated ones can be detected. With the upcoming 2020 US elections, the integrity of social media discourse is of paramount importance to allow a democratic process free of external influences,” Ferrara said. (IANS)

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Microsoft Lays Off News Production Workers; Replace Them With AI

A report suggests that Microsoft has cut off its editorial staff and replaced them with AI

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Microsoft
Microsoft cuts off staff and replaces them with artificial intelligence. Pxabay

Microsoft is reportedly laying off at least 50 news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to perform their editorial duties.

According to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday, the roughly 50 employees contracted through staffing agencies Aquent, IFG and MAQ Consulting have been notified “that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30”.

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties.

A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that like all companies, they evaluate business on a regular basis.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic,” said the Microsoft spokesperson.

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All the work, duty and tasks of the workers will be performed by AI. Pixabay

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Some employees told Seattle Times that “MSN will use AI to replace the production work they’d been doing”.

The work includes using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, rewrite headlines or adding better photographs or slide shows.

Besides the production work, the contract employees also planned content, maintained the editorial calendars of partner news websites and assigned content to them. (IANS)

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Researchers Design AI-Based System That Can Predict Battery Health

The researchers designed a new way to monitor batteries by sending electrical pulses into them and measuring the response

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AI
The researchers also showed that the machine learning model can be interpreted to give hints about the physical mechanism of degradation. Pixabay

Researchers have designed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that can predict battery health with 10 times higher accuracy than current industry standard.

The findings, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, could aid in the development of safer and more reliable batteries for electric vehicles and consumer electronics as predicting the state of health and the remaining useful lifespan of lithium-ion batteries is one of the big problems limiting widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

It is also a familiar annoyance to mobile phone users. “Safety and reliability are the most important design criteria as we develop batteries that can pack a lot of energy in a small space,” said Alpha Lee from University of Cambridge who co-led the research.

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The researchers designed a new way to monitor batteries by sending electrical pulses into them and measuring the response. The measurements were then processed by a machine learning algorithm to predict the battery’s health and useful lifespan.

The researchers performed over 20,000 experimental measurements to train the model.
Their method is non-invasive and is a simple add-on to any existing battery system.

AI
Researchers have designed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that can predict battery health with 10 times higher accuracy than current industry standard. Pixabay

The researchers also showed that the machine learning model can be interpreted to give hints about the physical mechanism of degradation.

The model can inform which electrical signals are most correlated with ageing, which in turn allows them to design specific experiments to probe why and how batteries degrade.

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“By improving the software that monitors charging and discharging, and using data-driven software to control the charging process, I believe we can power a big improvement in battery performance,” Lee said. (IANS)

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Tech Gaint Apple Acquires AI-Based Platform To Improve its Virtual Assistant Siri

This is the second acquisition from Apple this week as it also acquired weather app Dark Sky

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Apple
The Cupertino-based tech giant is expected to use Voysis' technology to improve its virtual assistant Siri and the financial details of the deal has not been disclosed yet, The Irish Times reported late Friday. Pixabay

Apple has acquired Dublin-based startup Voysis, a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform that enables third parties to integrate high quality voice and natural language capabilities into their products.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is expected to use Voysis’ technology to improve its virtual assistant Siri and the financial details of the deal has not been disclosed yet, The Irish Times reported late Friday.

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“At Voysis, we believe voice will soon be the first point of contact between ‘man’ and machine. We believe that voice driven natural language interfaces will change the way people interact with consumer and enterprise facing applications by creating more intuitive, efficient, and personalized experiences,” according to the company’s LinkedIn bio.

Apple
Apple has acquired Dublin-based startup Voysis, a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform that enables third parties to integrate high quality voice and natural language capabilities into their products. Pixabay

Voysis was founded in 2012 by Peter Cahill and Noel Ruane. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Leinster, Ireland, with additional office in Edinburgh, Scotland and Boston, Massachusetts.

The company has developed voice recognition platform driven by natural language instructions and search capabilities that is extremely good at recognising and responding to voice commands from users.

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This is the second acquisition from Apple this week as it also acquired weather app Dark Sky. (IANS)