Facebook announced the launch of a bizarre competition called the “Hateful Memes Challenge” this week, in which researchers will compete for a $100,000 prize pool by developing artificial intelligence that can identify “hate speech” in memes.
Facebook declared that it had created over 10,000 “hateful memes,” which will be used as a data set to train the AIs created during the Hateful Memes Challenge.
The tech giant has a reputation for pouring massive amounts of cash and manpower into programs aimed at censoring jokes and opinions it classifies as “hate speech,” even as users complain about glitches, user interface issues, and illegal content proliferating on the platform.
Facebook describes the urgent need for AI that can identify “hateful memes” thusly: “In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don’t think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is extremely challenging for machines, however, because it means they can’t just analyze the text and the image separately. They must combine these different modalities and understand how the meaning changes when they are presented together.”
The “hateful memes” data set will be only available to researchers and journalists, and Facebook has ensured there will be “strict restrictions on sharing the data” to prevent “misuse.”
In related news, Facebook recently appointed a left-wing activist who insulted the President of the United States’ 14-year-old son for his first name to its “Supreme Court” Oversight Board, which will be in charge of deciding what content will be removed from the platform.
This week, Facebook released the list of 20 people who will serve on its Oversight Board and decide what memes and news articles should be removed for breaking Facebook’s “Community Guidelines” on hate speech and misinformation.
Amongst the various controversial personalities on the list, which includes journalists, professors, activists, and former government officials including an ex-director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, is left-wing activist professor Pamela Karlan.
Karlan, who describes herself as a “snarky, bisexual Jewish woman,” previously made headlines last December when she brought up up President Donald Trump’s son Barron as a punchline during the failed impeachment hearings.
Facebook also made headlines earlier this year for taking several days to delete a page that posted illegal child pornography.