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Microsoft Joins Hands with Facebook to Fight ‘Deepfakes’

“Deepfakes” are video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged videos of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral recently

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FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

Facebook has partnered with Microsoft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other institutions to fight ‘deepfakes’ and has committed $10 million towards creating open source tools that can better detect if a video has been doctored.

“Deepfake” techniques, which present realistic AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things, have significant implications for determining the legitimacy of information presented online.

“That’s why Facebook, the Partnership on AI, Microsoft, and academics from Cornell Tech, MIT, University of Oxford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, College Park, and University at Albany-SUNY are coming together to build the Deepfake Detection Challenge (DFDC),” Mike Schroepfer, Chief Technology Officer, said on Thursday.

The “Deepfake Detection Challenge” will include a data set and leaderboard, as well as grants and awards, to spur the industry to create new ways of detecting and preventing media manipulated via AI from being used to mislead others.

“No Facebook user data will be used in this data set. We are also funding research collaborations and prizes for the challenge to help encourage more participation. In total, we are dedicating more than $10 million to fund this industry-wide effort,” Schroepfer said in a statement.

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FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

The full data set release and the DFDC launch will happen at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) this December.

“In order to move from the information age to the knowledge age, we must do better in distinguishing the real from the fake, reward trusted content over untrusted content, and educate the next generation to be better digital citizens,” said Professor Hany Farid from UC Berkeley.

“The goal of this competition is to build AI systems that can detect the slight imperfections in a doctored image and expose its fraudulent representation of reality,” added Antonio Torralba, Director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence.

Also Read: Solar Leads Decade of Investment in Renewable Energy

“Deepfakes” are video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged videos of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral recently.

“Given the recent developments in being able to generate manipulated information (text, images, videos, and audio) at scale, we need the full involvement of the research community in an open environment to develop methods and systems that can detect and mitigate the ill effects of manipulated multimedia,” noted Professor Rama Chellappa from University of Maryland. (IANS)

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Facebook Commits $130 mn to Build Global Oversight Board for Ensuring Accountability

Facebook intends to continue funding the board's operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding

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Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations. Pixabay

Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms.

The initial funding will cover operational costs such as office space, staff and travel expenses and should allow the board to operate for at least its first two full terms, approximately six years, Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Global Affairs at Facebook, said in a statement.

The board will submit a yearly budget to the trust for approval and disbursement of funds.

Annual reports from the board and trust will help to document the health and effectiveness of the board, including its stewardship of these resources.

Facebook intends to continue funding the board’s operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding.

Last November, Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his vision for what content governance should look like for Facebook.

Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations.

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Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms. Pixabay

“The board will have its own staff, independent from Facebook. To start, we expect this staff to include a director, case managers and dedicated staff members (or contracted services) who can support things such as the board’s communications, legal, human resources and research needs,” said Harris.

ALSO READ: Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

In addition, said Facebook, it will continue to work with outside experts to source and review candidates for board membership, including those who’ve been recommended through the public portal, which we opened in September.

“We are eager to see the Oversight Board take shape and start hearing cases next year,” said Facebook. (IANS)