Friday September 21, 2018

New innovative technology in Myanmar : Making big Gong

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Mandalay, Myanmar: When the copper prices soared to new heights, the Gong makers of Thailand and Myanmar finally decided to make it shift from the bronze to that of the iron age.

We are talking about the Gongs which are used in various Buddhist monasteries throughout Asia. The craftsmen decided to counter the problem by inventing a large iron disk which resonates with the right pitch.

Than Zaw, a gong maker says that as people demanded bigger gongs with right sounds, the craftsmen began the innovative technique of casting the iron metal into the giant gongs.

While another gong maker, Zin Min, is of the opinion that though machines will make it look smoother for the gongs, it will only be able to reproduce the sounds like hitting an iron or a bronze plate. He adds that unfortunately, machinery fails to create the pitch and beats for a gong to properly work.

The Mandalay craftsmen, believes that their technology is able to invent a gong that will be as large as having a total diameter of 5 meters. Whereas, currently the largest iron gong in production is about 3 meters in diameter and weights a total of 245 kilograms. And the thing is, it will be deal with an impressive price of 2900 dollars.

Lastly, in the words of Panna Jota, who had traveled some 600 kilometers, to purchase modestly sized gongs proudly tells: “Long ago  our warriors going into the battle will become energized by the sounds of the gongs and will fight to win. And that’s why it is for us the sound of success and victory.” (This news is brought to you by  NewsGram in collaboration with Voice of America.)

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Facebook ‘Too slow’ in Fighting Hate Speech in Myanmar

Facebook said it is working with a network of independent organisations to identify hate posts

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Facebook, Twitter remove hundreds of accounts tied to Iran, Russia. VOA

The ethnic violence in Myanmar is horrific and we have been “too slow” to prevent the spread of misinformation and hate speech on our platform, Facebook acknowledged on Thursday.

The admission came after a Reuters investigation on Wednesday revealed that Facebook has struggled to address hate posts about the minority Rohingya, the social media giant said the rate at which bad content is reported in Burmese, whether it’s hate speech or misinformation, is low.

“This is due to challenges with our reporting tools, technical issues with font display and a lack of familiarity with our policies. We’re investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence that can proactively flag posts that break our rules,” Sara Su, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a statement.

According to Facebook, in the second quarter of 2018, it proactively identified about 52 per cent of the content it removed for hate speech in Myanmar.

“This is up from 13 per cent in the last quarter of 2017, and is the result of the investments we’ve made both in detection technology and people, the combination of which help find potentially violating content and accounts and flag them for review,” said Facebook.

Facebook said it proactively identified posts as recently as last week that indicated a threat of credible violence in Myanmar.

“We removed the posts and flagged them to civil society groups to ensure that they were aware of potential violence,” said the blog post.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

In May, a coalition of activists from eight countries, including India and Myanmar, called on Facebook to put in place a transparent and consistent approach to moderation.

The coalition demanded civil rights and political bias audits into Facebook’s role in abetting human rights abuses, spreading misinformation and manipulation of democratic processes in their respective countries.

Besides India and Myanmar, the other countries that the activists represented were Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the Philippines, Syria and Ethiopia.

Facebook said that as of June, it had over 60 Myanmar language experts reviewing content and will have at least 100 by the end of this year.

“But it’s not enough to add more reviewers because we can’t rely on reports alone to catch bad content. Engineers across the company are building AI tools that help us identify abusive posts,” said the social media giant.

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Not only Myanmar, activists in Sri Lanka have argued that the lack of local moderators — specifically moderators fluent in the Sinhalese language spoken by the country’s Buddhist majority — had allowed hate speech run wild on the platform.

Facebook said it is working with a network of independent organisations to identify hate posts.

“We are initially focusing our work on countries where false news has had life or death consequences. These include Sri Lanka, India, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic as well as Myanmar,” said the company. (IANS)

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