Tackling 'bad human behaviour' on Facebook with bots
Facebook have begun using AI bots (Web-Enabled Simulations (WES)) to mimic the behaviour of Facebook users, such as liking posts and sending friend requests. Each of the bots are 'trained' on a different personality type; with some seeking out 'victims', whilst others are more susceptible to scammers.
Facebook's researchers run and study the bots on a parallel version of the platform in an attempt to combat abuse on Facebook. The simulation is called "WW", due to it being a smaller recreation of the World Wide Web, which uses real code based on Facebook. The platform used doesn’t look like the website that we know. Instead, the bots’ interactions, and their results, are recorded numerically through a GUI (Graphic User Interface).
There are two main benefits of this work: the first being in regard to its scale, as Facebook can run thousands of simulations without affecting users. The second is with regards to Facebook's architecture, as the bots can discover new weaknesses that human research alone may not achieve.
Spotify dips their toe into video streaming
Spotify has announced its launch of video podcasts this month, which will be free for both Free and Premium Spotify users, on both desktop and mobile.
Although the audio of these podcasts will be downloadable, the video content will not be. Users will, however, be able to switch between apps and lock their device during an episode and the audio will continue playing. They will then be able to open up the video whenever they want or carry on with just the sound.
A number of deals with high-profile podcast hosts have already been made, including Joe Rogan's Joe Rogan Experience, and Kim Kardashian West on criminal justice reform and wrongful conviction - just what we've all been waiting for...
Elon Musk attempts to stream music 'straight into our brains'
Yes, you read that correctly. Never one to do things by half, Elon Musk has announced his Neuralink startup is working on a brain-computer interface that will allow wearers to stream music directly to their brain. This announcement is following a 2019 event where Musk said the firm was working on a “sewing machine-like” device that would provide a direct connection between a computer and a chip inserted within the brain.
Musk went on to claim the technology will first be used to help people suffering from brain diseases like Parkinson's, but the ultimate aim of Neuralink is to allow humans to compete with advanced artificial intelligence.
New information about Neuralink is due to be announced next month.
New tool, TheirTube allows users to see how others experience YouTube
Around 70% of all videos viewed on YouTube are recommended by the AI algorithm – the equivalent of 700 million hours of video content each day, globally. This statistic shows how YouTube's algorithm panders to the psychological theory of confirmation bias, whereby people have a tendency to favour information that supports their existing beliefs or values.
A new tool dubbed ‘TheirTube’ has now been developed to help us understand how YouTube's recommendation algorithm actually directs users to videos promoting extremist ideologies and conspiracy theories, fuelling ideologies and beliefs.
The creative designer of the tool, Tomo Kihara, describes how we are blind to the recommendation bubbles we are in, due to AI curating almost all of what we see. So, the only way for a person to get a better perspective on their own media environment, is to see what others’ bubbles look like.
The tool shows how YouTube looks to people from different political demographics, such as conservatives and liberals, as well as other personas like fruitarians, climate change deniers and ‘prepper’ survivalists. Viewing TheirTube through the ‘Conspiracist’ persona, for example,
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