1. FB: We Can Give AI “Common Sense”
To give AI a better sense of judgment, along with a more human way of communicating, Facebook is setting out to redesign artificial intelligence chips to create their own digital assistants. Yann LeCun, Facebook chief AI scientist, has described the company’s desire to give smart assistants more of a human personality. “In terms of new uses, one thing Facebook would be interested in is offering smart digital assistants — something that has a level of common sense,” LeCun said. “They have background knowledge and you can have a discussion with them on any topic.” The goal is for the digital assistant to have an understanding of how humans will respond and react to their exchanges. Additionally, Facebook hopes to use the AI chips to observe content on Facebook in real time along with making information processing more efficient. This will allow the company to easily detect when content should be removed from the social network site. Facebook already uses AI to detect fake accounts and correct images of your friends, but the company hopes to keep innovating to use AI for even more uses.
2. Walmart Sales Unfazed by Amazon
Amazon’s e-commerce success isn’t fazing Walmart with online sales up 43% during the fourth quarter and overall growth of 40% for 2018. The brick-and-mortar giant is predicting the success to continue, anticipating internet sales to increase by 35%. After a very successful holiday season ringing in massive growth in its grocery sales, holiday purchases (including many toys), and other online orders, Walmart shares have increased approximately 4% to $103.92 yesterday. “We experienced a favorable economic environment in the U.S. for much of the year which increased spending on groceries,” says Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon. This is favorable for Walmart considering over half the company’s revenues stem from food or other staple items. McMillon attributed much of Walmart’s online success to repeat shoppers and a wide assortment of merchandise. The company has made investments to aid in its e-commerce success by adding an easy-to-use search feature, increasing delivery speeds, and overseeing product reviews. Though Amazon still holds about 50% of e-commerce sales in the U.S., Walmart is making gains to catch up. “Long term, [Walmart] is using its size to go head-to-head against Amazon,” says Liz Dunn, founder and CEO of Pro4ma. “And it’s working.”
3. YouTube’s New One Strike Policy
Yesterday, YouTube announced new changes to its strike system. Employees will review YouTube content to see if it is aligned with the company’s Community Guidelines. Strikes are given for material that might contain nudity or sexual content, threats, spams, misleading information, dangerous content, or scams. After being criticized for its uneven and unclear penalties, YouTube has reconstructed its guidelines. Their new policy is “one strike and you’re out.” Before, YouTube’s three-strike system had differing penalties. Now, all strikes will have the same punishment. Users will be frozen from YouTube activity for one week when given their first strike. On their second strike, the time period will increase to a two-week ban, and if given a third strike in the same 90-day period, the user’s account will be terminated. This new system starts on Feb. 25.