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Microsoft working on ‘trustworthy AI’ to curb fake news

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Redmond (Washington), May 12: Alarmed by the mammoth spread of fake news, tech giant Microsoft is working round-the-clock on building “trusted” algorithms to control false news on its platforms like Bing Search engine and professional networking website LinkedIn.

According to David Heiner, Strategic Policy Advisor at Microsoft, the problems Facebook and YouTube are facing with fake news today have alerted the tech companies the world over and Microsoft is right on the job in building Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven systems to fight back.

“We are already working on a couple of such AI-powered initiatives towards Bing and Linkedin. We are also trying to forge tie-ups with trusted news sources and then indicate to users what is the source of the news and letting them make their own decisions,” Heiner told IANS at the company’s sprawling, 500-acre campus here.

The main challenge, according to him, are concerns regarding censorship and defining what is fake news.

“A very high percentage of people get news from Facebook and (Google-owned) YouTube and both these major platforms are having troubles with handling fake news.

“In the meantime, we have to draw a line for giving too much power to tech companies – in order to figure out what is being presented to the users that often leads to utterly fake news which is injurious to democracy and the civil society,” the senior company executive noted.

The need of the hour is to build “trustworthy AI” that is fair and doesn’t differentiate between religion, caste and colour.

“The whole idea is to build applications around AI in a trustworthy way. People will not share data and they must not be. With respect to users’ privacy, we need trusted AI systems that are safe and transparent,” Heiner explained.

There is a notion outside that a handful of big US tech companies or Chinese ones like Tencent Holdings and Alibaba will finally control the AI technology.

“Our vision is very different. We want AI for humanity, for all. AI is the new fundamental technology in terms of creating a huge impact on the society,” the executive emphasised.

There are six core concepts to achieving “trustworthy AI”.

AI-based systems need to treat everyone fairly, must be safe, protect privacy and security, include everyone and need to be transparent as algorithms can be mysterious at times.

“Lastly, people who are deploying AI systems — be it at Microsoft or at other companies – are to be treated as accountable for the trustworthiness of their AI systems,” Heiner explained.

Microsoft is infusing AI into a whole range of applications — Office 365, Azure Cloud, cognitive services and translation solutions, etc.

“The challenge is to ensure how data is it being collected and fed into an AI system. This demands utmost fairness and responsibility and we are very serious about it,” he added.

AI promises new capabilities but it has also raised questions about potential disruptions to the nature and distribution of jobs.

“It is really hard to predict the future on whether AI will kill jobs. Technology has always eliminated certain jobs and created new ones. We don’t know yet whether this will hold true for AI.

“But one thing is sure. Technology in overall, irrespective of AI, will have some impact on jobs like with automation in the recent past,” Heiner said.

What will not be transferable to AI, perhaps, are distinct human qualities like judgment, emotions and empathy.

Microsoft is optimistic that AI systems are needed to be built in such a way that they augment human capabilities.

The company has announced “AI for Accessibility” — a new $25 million, five-year programme for developers globally including in India.

“AI is well suited to us as we build software to improve lives. The technology can do wonders in voice, speech recognition and translation solutions. Aided by AI, humans can reduce errors to a great extent — almost negligible — be it in healthcare or any other field,” Heiner noted.

IANS

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Paytm testing ‘Face Login’ feature

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New Delhi, Sep 24: To further secure its platform, digital payments company Paytm on Monday said it is testing a new “Face Login” feature on its Android beta app.

According to One97 Communications, that owns the brand Paytm, the new feature will enable users to log in to their app by simply looking at their phone.

This will be an important security update for Paytm users that is designed to prevent phishing attacks by providing an additional security layer of biometric security, the company said in a statement.

“Our team is currently working on enhancing our proprietary algorithms to make it more intuitive for users. This will make accessing Paytm account even simpler and faster, prevent phishing attacks and offer instant access on the go,” said Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President-Paytm.

The company has tested this feature extensively with over 10,000 distinct faces and witnessed nearly 100 per cent accuracy. To achieve this, the app maps over 200 distinct parameters on the human face for high accuracy.

IANS

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Motorola One Power with 5,000mAh Battery Launched; Check Price, Specifications

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New Delhi, Sep 24: Motorola on Monday launched its first Android One device “Motorola One Power” with a 5000 mAh battery in the Indian market.

Motorola One Power price in India:

The Motorola One Power price in India has been set as Rs. 15,999 and the handset comes in only one configuration – 64GB internal storage and 4GB of RAM. The device will be available from October 5 on Flipkart.

Jio customers can get benefits up to Rs 4,450 (applicable on Rs 198 and Rs 299 plans) while purchasing the device.

Motorola One Power specifications: 

Android One means the device will have the latest Android version and regular security updates. The device with Android Oreo 8.1 OS comes with 6.2 inch 19:9 Max Vision Full HD+ display.

“The Indian market will be a key focus for us in our value portfolio (Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000),” Prashanth Mani, Managing Director, Motorola Mobility India, told reporters here.

“With this device, stay powered longer with up to two days of battery life so you can watch your favourite movie while travelling and get up to six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes with the included ‘TurboPower’ charge,” the company added.

There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 1.8GHz octa-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB built-in storage that can be expanded up to 256GB.

The smartphone has 16MP+5MP dual rear camera system along with a 12MP front camera.

The primary camera comes with integrated Google Lens that helps in recognising and searching about the objects that users come across.

The Motorola One Power also has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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3 Indian women selected as Facebook global community leaders

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New Delhi, Sep 24 : Adhunika Prakash, who founded non-profit Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms in Pune, was on Monday selected among five global leaders for $1 million award each by Facebook as part of its Community Leadership Programme.

Apart from Prakash, Chetana Misra who founded Mompreneurs India and Tamanna Dhamija who created Baby Destination were awarded $50,000 in fellowship each, as the social media giant selected community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participants from over 6,000 applicants across the world, Facebook said in a statement on Monday.

Selected for facebook’s in residence award, Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms is a peer-to-peer support group primarily for breastfeeding parents. The group has more than 80,000 people from across the country.

She aims to work with hospitals in India to help train and support parents, particularly in rural areas.

Mumbai-based Mompreneurs India is a community of like-minded women, allowing them to network, share knowledge and contacts, and benefit from partnerships to start a business and take it online.

New Delhi-based Baby Destination helps mothers exchange information and support one another.

“While speaking with the community leaders, we discovered that lack of training, support and funds are common obstacles to having the kind of positive impact on their communities that these leaders envision,” said Facebook.

The three leaders are among 115 people who have been selected into the programme as community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participant to work for community resilience or issues, civic engagement health and wellness parenting education.

“At select points over the next year, the participants will spend time at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park (California), working with the team to help develop their community initiatives,” Facebook noted.

Launched in February this year, the programme is designed to enable extraordinary leaders advance their initiatives and build stronger communities through the social networking giant’s family of apps and services.

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