Meta, Wikipedia wants to fight misinformation with new AI tool Sphere

Facebook says it wants to help correct misinformation that is rampant on the internet – a problem it may have helped create in the first place.

Facebook parents Meta announced a new AI-powered tool on Monday, called Sphere. It is intended to help detect and address misinformation or “Hearsay“, on the internet. Meta claims that this is “first time .” [AI] the model is capable of automatically scanning hundreds of thousands of citations at once to check if they really support the respective claims. “

The announcement came after many years criticism about Facebook’s own role in enabling online wrong information thrived and quickly spread across the globe. According to Meta’s research team, Sphere’s dataset includes 134 million public websites. It relies on common internet knowledge to quickly scan hundreds of thousands of citations on the web, looking for actual errors.

Therefore, it is perhaps appropriate that the first customer of the AI ​​model is Wikipedia. According to Meta’s announcement, the community-sourced internet encyclopedia used Sphere to scan its pages and flag sources that didn’t actually support the claims in the entry.

Meta also says that when Sphere detects a questionable source, it will also recommend a stronger source – or a tweak – to help improve entry accuracy.

“Wikipedia is the default first stop in finding research information, background literature, or answers to that nagging question about popular culture,” Meta said in a statement, noting that Wikipedia hosts more than 6.5 million entries in English only and adds about 17,000 new entries to its pages every month.

The company also released a video showing how the Sphere works:

Meta told TechCrunch that the agreement with Wikipedia does not involve any financial compensation in either direction. Meta has access to a large-scale training facility for the Sphere, and Wikipedia gets an AI engine capable of streamlining the verification process and improving its actual accuracy.

Existing automated systems already have the ability to identify pieces of information that lack any citations. But the Meta researchers say the complexity of separating individual claims from questionable sources and determining whether those sources actually support the claims in question “requires understanding.” knowledge and insight analysis of the AI ​​system.”

In a statement, Shani Evenstein Sigalov – a Tel Aviv University researcher and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation – called Sphere’s work with Wikipedia “a powerful example of machine learning tools.” can help scale the work of volunteers.”

“Improving these processes will allow us to attract new editors to Wikipedia and provide better, more reliable information to billions of people around the world,” said Sigalov.

Sphere marks Meta’s latest attempt at tackling misinformation online – while potentially deflecting criticism of the company’s own role in allowing that misinformation to exist. .

Meta has consistently faced harsh criticism over the past few years from users and regulators for spreading misinformation on the company’s social media platforms, including Facebook. , Instagram and WhatsApp. Former employees and leaked internal documents fueled claims that the company values ​​profit by fighting misinformation, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called before Congress to discuss the issue.

Last summer, President Joe Biden alleges social media giant about “killing people” by allowing the spread of misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine on its platforms. The company declined, claiming that Facebook and Instagram are providing “authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines” to billions of users.

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