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Robots tackle extremist videos better: Google




New Delhi, Aug 2 : Google has said that its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven robots are more accurate than humans in identifying and blocking the extremist videos online.

According to a report in The Telegraph on Tuesday, Google claimed that its robots flag three in four offensive videos from YouTube even before they are reported by users.

“With over 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, finding and taking action on violent extremist content poses a significant challenge,” the report quoted Google as saying.

“But over the past month, our initial use of machine learning has more than doubled both the number of videos we’ve removed for violent extremism, as well as the rate at which we’ve taken this kind of content down,” the company added.

The statement from Google comes after major companies including Marks and Spencer and McDonald cut off its business from YouTube earlier in 2017 when their ad videos had appeared alongside extremist videos.

The AI-driven bots at Google which are meant to identify the offensive content have identified more than 75 per cent of videos removed from YouTube in July.

The company sees this ability of bots as “dramatic” and better than humans.

“While these tools aren’t perfect, and aren’t right for every setting, in many cases our systems have proven more accurate than humans at flagging videos that need to be removed,” said Google.

Facebook is also using AI to remove terrorist propaganda and related content, using image recognition software and video technology.

Social media companies and other Internet companies have been under scanner for doing little to curb the spread of violence and terror-related content on their platforms.

To placate its critics, who accuse Google of letting YouTube breed terrorist groups on its platform, the company is reportedly hiring more people to review and enforce its policies on the video sharing site.



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


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Zebra Technologies launch 2 mobile computing devices for SMBs



Zebra Technologies

New Delhi, March 22: Expanding its portfolio of mobile computers, Zebra Technologies, a global leader in providing solutions and services to enterprises, on Thursday introduced “TC20” mobile computer and “TC25” rugged smartphone in India.

“TC20” will cost $500-$600 while and “TC25” will be available for $530-$600 depending on the specifications, the company said.

“Until now, Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) had options like struggling with the risk and frustration of using consumer devices or running their operations manually with pen and paper. ‘TC20’ and ‘TC25’ give SMBs a better choice,” Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director-India, Zebra Technologies, said in a statement.

Both the devices feature 4.3-inch screens and run Android Nougat Operating System (OS).

Zebra’s “TC20” is a lightweight and durable mobile device developed for indoor use by sectors such as retail and hospitality while “TC25” would allow real-time operational visibility on the field for SMBs in logistics or services industries, the company added.

The devices also support voice communications over wireless LAN while “TC25” supports 4G/LTE connectivity too.

“TC20” and “TC25” have been designed for 1D and 2D barcode scanning and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tag reading.

The TC2-series devices can capture barcodes substantially quicker than the cameras on consumer smartphones, thus saving time, the company said.

Designed as an enterprise line of business smartphone, both the devices are powered by software such as Datawedge, StageNow and Mobility Extensions (Mx).


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Anxiety, depression can trigger smartphone addiction




London, March 22: People who are less emotionally stable and suffer from anxiety and depression are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, according to a research.

Emotional stability is characterised by being emotionally resilient. The study found that being less emotionally stable was associated with problematic smartphone behaviour.

People who struggle with their mental health are more likely to intensively use their smartphone as a form of therapy and that the less conscientious individuals are, the more likely they are to be addicted to their phones.

As levels of anxiety increase, problematic smartphone use also increases, the findings showed.

“Problematic smartphone use is more complex than previously thought and our research has highlighted the interplay of various psychological factors in the study of smartphone use,” Zaheer Hussain, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby in Britain, said in a statement.

“This is because people may be experiencing problems in their lives such as stress, anxiety, depression, family problems, so in that state they are emotionally unstable, meaning they may seek respite in very excessive smartphone use. This is worrying,” Hussain said.

For the study, a team of psychologists conducted an online study with 640 smartphone users, aged between 13-69 years, to find out the association between smartphone use and personality traits.

The results showed that people who are “closed off” or less open with their emotions are more likely to have problems with smartphone use.

“They may be engaging in passive social network use, where you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, browsing other peoples’ comments, pictures, and posts, and not posting anything of your own and not engaging in discussion with others, so there is no real positive social interaction while social networking,” Hussain noted.


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