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Instagram Employs Machine Learning to Stop Bullying

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New Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri is only 10 days into the job and already introducing high-tech tools to limit bullying on the social network.

“Online bullying is complex,” Mosseri wrote in a blog post, recognizing that the current system of reporting and removing content that violates company guidelines isn’t enough.

“We know we have more work to do to further limit bullying and spread kindness on Instagram,” he said.

Enter machine learning.

A new algorithm, trained to detect harassment in photos and captions, proactively sends offending content to the Community Operations team for review.

“This change will help us identify and remove significantly more bullying,” Mosseri said. “And it’s a crucial next step since many people who experience or observe bullying don’t report it.”

Bullying comment filter on Live videos (via Instagram)

It is also aimed at protecting Instagram’s youngest members, since teens often experience high rates of online torment.

The new function is rolling out now, and is expected to reach all users over the coming weeks.

There are no further details about how the system works, or whether it differs at all from the usual means of complaint.

Even AI isn’t perfect, though. You can still manually report a post or profile for abuse via the mobile app or website.

Additionally, the platform is expanding its bullying comment filter to hide crude comments from the Feed, Explore, and Profile tabs, as well as live videos (above)—”to ensure that Live remains a safe and fun place to authentically connect with your friends and interests,” Mosseri wrote.

Maddie Ziegler’s kindness camera filter (via Instagram)

Sure, taking down trolls is important and self-affirming. But so is spreading kindness—a concept Instagram is celebrating with Maddie Ziegler. The teen dancer (best known for Dance Moms, Sia music videos, and being Millie Bobby Brown’s BFF) helped launch a kindness camera effect “to spread positivity.”

“Maddie has been speaking out against online bullying since she started experiencing it and is one of many people in our community that uses Instagram to promote positivity,” the blog said.

Ziegler’s 12.4 million followers can automatically access the effect; simply open the camera, tap the face icon at the bottom, and click “spread kindness.”

In selfie mode, hearts fill the screen; switch to the rear camera to see kind comments in various languages. You are encouraged to tag a friend to support; they in turn receive a notification, and can share it to their own story or use the filter to pay it forward.

It’s no coincidence that Instagram announced its latest efforts at the beginning of October—National Bullying Prevention Month in the US.

Parent company Facebook recently revealed how it uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision to purge the site of hate speech, nudity, and violence. Stay up to date with all things Instagram here.

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Watch: Passengers Freak Out Over New Tesla Roadster’s Record-Setting Acceleration

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When Tesla announced its new version of the Roadster, which can accelerate in zero to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, a lot of people were doubtful.

But a new video of the first test rides in the new Roadster, unveiled by Tesla on YouTube on Friday, shows that the “quickest car in the world” could actually be close to becoming a reality.

The video shows passengers’ hilarious reactions as the Roadster demonstrates its record-setting acceleration.

Reactions included a lot of “Holy S%!#” and “Oh My God” and “Holy F%!#”

According to Tesla, the all-new Roadster can travel 620 miles on a single charge – a new record for an all-electric vehicle.

“[It’s] the fastest production car ever made, period,” said Tesla founder Elon Musk. (Photo Credit: Tesla, Inc.)

The four-seater supercar can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and from zero to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and it boasts a top speed of 250 mph.

The all-new Roadster will cost $200,000 at launch (the first 1,000 are available for a ‘Founders Series Price’ of $250,000), and will be available in 2020.

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Cuba Rolls Out Mobile Internet Service to Citizens for the First Time

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Cubans will now be able to access the internet on their mobile phones, according to state-run telecom agency ETECSA.

The announcement is a milestone for the Communist-run country, which has long been considered one of the least connected countries in the world, and one of the last without mobile internet.

Starting Thursday, December 6, citizens would be able able to start subscribing to internet access via a 3G mobile network.

In a news show broadcast on Tuesday, ETECSA executives announced a range of packages valid for 30 days from 600 MB for the equivalent of $7 dollars to 4 GB for $30. Without a package, 100 MB will cost users $10, Reuters reported.

With average state wages at around $30, the cost for mobile internet will likely be out of reach for most Cubans, even though users get a bonus 300MB use of local .cu domain websites.

The list of packages for the connection to mobile internet from mobile phones is displayed on a woman’s phone screen in Havana, Cuba on December 6, 2018. (Photo Credit: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

Until today, citizens have mostly relied on Wi-Fi hotspots and internet cafes for mobile internet access, and the 3G service has been restricted to state-employed journalists and foreign businesses among others, according to BBC News.

“It was about time this became a possibility for Cubans too,” Havana resident Joaquin Montiel, 58, told Reuters. “But for some, like me, it’s still a remote one.” Montiel said he would not be able to afford a cellphone with 3G technology on his salary of less than $20 per month as a salesman in a state company.

Still, the launch is seen by many as a sign that the country is further softening its tough stance on individual freedoms. Internet was only largely available to tourist hotels and state-run clubs until 2013, when the island country began opening internet cafes.

It wasn’t until 2015 when the first Wi-Fi hotspot opened at a cultural centre, and other public spaces followed, the BBC reported. But many Cubans have complained about having to brave the elements just to use the Wi-Fi at the hotspots, which also lack of privacy. In 2017, ETECSA offered a limited number of home connections.

To reduce the risk of being overwhelmed with demand, ETECSA is rolling out the new 3G service will be rolled out over a three-day period.

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Robot Vacuum Showdown: Neato Versus Roomba

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Cleaning can be a pain sometimes, especially if you have to use a clunky vacuum to suck up nasty debris. Thankfully though, technology has gifted us with handy smart home devices, including Neato […]

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