Jun 15, 2017

Facebook turns to artificial intelligence in terrorism fight

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook makes significant use of artificial intelligence — as well as many human employees — to spot and combat terrorist use of its platform, it said in a rundown of its efforts published Thursday. The key points:

  • The company deploys artificial intelligence to detect when people try to repost photos and videos associated with terrorism, when the text of a post may be "advocating for terrorism" and when there are "new fake accounts created by repeat offenders."
  • Over 150 of its employees are "are exclusively or primarily focused on countering terrorism as their core responsibility," and are better able to determine when law enforcement needs to be alerted than A.I.

Why it matters: Facebook, Google, and Twitter are under extreme pressure from governments around the world to help in the fight against violent extremists who use the platforms. The leaders of France and Great Britain, for example, are exploring whether sites should be legally liable when they don't remove extremist content.

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America's funeral homes buckle under the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries in hot spots across America cannot keep up with the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, and at least tens of thousands more lives are projected to be lost. The numbers are creating unprecedented bottlenecks in the funeral industry — and social distancing is changing the way the families say goodbye to their loved ones.

Navarro memos warning of mass coronavirus death circulated in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

The state of play: By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: The virus hits home

Data: Ipsos/Axios poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The share of Americans who know someone who's tested positive has more than tripled in just a few weeks, to 14%, according to the latest installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

  • It's still highest in the Northeast, but last week alone it doubled in the South — and it's becoming most pronounced among people who still must leave home to work.
Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health