May 2, 2019

Artificial intelligence takes center stage at Facebook's F8 conference

Facebook's F8 conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook’s annual developer conferences, F8, continued for a second day Wednesday with a focus on more technical news announcements, particularly around AI.

The bottom line: The company announced new AI tools for moderating content and for training facial-recognition software to accurately detect all people on its Portal screens.

A full rundown on new developments:

  • AI tools: Facebook announced the release of an update to its open source deep-learning framework, PyTorch, as well as other AI tools. The new version comes with additional developer tools to make it easier to use beyond the research phase.
  • AI for moderation: Facebook also discussed various facets of its use of AI to police content on its services, including self-supervised learning models which can use and understand data with less human supervision.
  • AI for inclusion: Another application of AI that Facebook showed off is its use in Portal, the social network’s video chat device, to make sure it can detect all people on the screen. Facebook said it’s making sure to train its technology on a wide and diverse range of data.

The big picture: Facebook has long touted the important of AI for its company and services, which operate globally and are used by more than 2 billion people. It's no surprise to see it showcase not only some of its home-grown tech, but also how it’s trying to be careful in its application.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.