Al Jazeera


Facebook reveals AI use to tackle 'terrorist content'

Al Jazeera

Amid growing pressure from governments, Facebook says it has stepped up its efforts to address the spread of "terrorist propaganda" on its service by using artificial intelligence (AI). In a blog post on Thursday, the California-based company announced the introduction of AI, including image matching and language understanding, in conjunction with it already-existing human reviewers to better identify and remove content "quickly". "We know we can do better at using technology - and specifically artificial intelligence - to stop the spread of terrorist content on Facebook," Monika Bickert, Facebook's director of global policy management, and Brian Fishman, the company's counterterrorism policy manager, said in the post. In their blog post, Bickert and Fishman said that when Facebook receives reports of potential "terrorism posts", it reviews those reports urgently.


One scientist's race to build a Peace Machine

Al Jazeera

There are some 130 million books in the world, and Honkela imagines how the wisdom and understanding locked in their pages could be utilised if collected and interpreted by computers. Tiedemann focuses on machine translation and believes translation technology could drastically reduce language-related discrimination. Honkela imagines that one ambitious application of the Peace Machine could be to improve democracy through artificial intelligence. One emerging subject of artificial intelligence research is emotion, because people often make decisions based on feelings and not just facts.


Middle East particle accelerator opens in Jordan

Al Jazeera

The Middle East's first particle accelerator has officially been inaugurated in Allan, Jordan, in a ceremony attended by King Abdullah II and Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO. According to UNESCO's press release on Tuesday, the official name of the facility is Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, or SESAME - the password used in Ali Baba's time to open the gates to unimaginable treasures. In 1995, the Middle East Scientific Cooperation group (MESC) started organising meetings and advocate for the cooperation project. In 1997, MESC took up one proposal from scientist German Gustav-Adolf Voss, who suggested using components from a facility in Berlin that would soon be decommissioned in order to start a project in the Middle East.


The rise of the tech titans

Al Jazeera

Companies can't just rest on their laurels and hope to continue to perform with the products and services they have. "Companies can't just rest on their laurels and hope to continue to perform with the products and services they have, so you see lots of investment in new technologies - things like augmented reality and artificial intelligence, so they really position themselves for future growth as well." 'Inclusive growth' for Africa: The World Economic Forum on Africa was hosted by South Africa this year. Canada maple syrup: Maple syrup is Canada's economic and cultural mainstay.


US drone strike kills five suspected al-Qaeda fighters

Al Jazeera

A US drone strike has killed five suspected members of al-Qaeda in central Yemen, according to local news media and a government security official. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a military official told AFP news agency that the car belonged to a local leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The strike comes 24 hours after a similar raid killed three suspected AQAP operatives in the southern Shabwa province, which has been a central target of the US military. The US has stepped up its use of drone strikes under President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon confirming more than 70 strikes since February 28.


Drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan 'not transparent'

Al Jazeera

British politicians who examined the details of a drone strike which killed a British man in Syria said they were disappointed by the government's lack of transparency during investigations. On August 21, 2015, the UK conducted a drone strike in Raqqa for the first time outside the traditional theatre of war, killing 21-year-old British national Reyaad Khan, a suspected fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and two other people. Despite not having a parliamentary mandate to take military action in Syria, then Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs at the time that Khan was "seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the west, including directing a number of planned terrorist attacks right here in Britain, such as plots to attack high profile public commemorations". The group had initially sought to investigate two other drone strikes which killed UK nationals Junaid Hussain and Mohammed Emwazi in August and November 2015, Yasmine Ahmed, Rights Watch director, told Al Jazeera.


China launches its first unmanned cargo spacecraft

Al Jazeera

China has launched its first cargo spacecraft, making further progress in its goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. It is expected to dock in two days with the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, or "Heavenly Palace 2", where two astronauts spent a month last October in China's longest-ever manned space mission. The cargo spacecraft mission will provide an "important technological basis" for the construction of China's space station, according to state media. President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme to strengthen national security.


Passenger dragged off United flight plans legal action

Al Jazeera

The man dragged off a United Airlines flight in an incident that sparked an international uproar suffered a broken nose and concussion, his lawyer said, adding that he is planning to sue. Dao's lawyers filed a petition in court requesting that the city, which operates O'Hare International Airport, and United Airlines preserve evidence related to the incident. Dao's daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, told the news conference that the family was "horrified, shocked and sickened" by what happened to her father. Dao's lawyers filed an emergency request with an Illinois state court on Wednesday to require United Continental Holdings Inc and the City of Chicago to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to the incident, which would be a precursor to a lawsuit.


Should we be scared of Trump's drone reforms?

Al Jazeera

Donald Trump's presidency got off to a bloody start in January, when a special operations forces raid against al-Qaeda in Yemen killed numerous civilians and a US Navy SEAL. And now Trump may go even further, rescinding some of the constraints President Obama placed on targeted killing policy. True, the agency operates under covert action legal authority, which bars administration officials from publicly admitting to drone strikes. But Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which conducts military drone strikes, is not a transparent organisation, either.


Drone strikes kill suspected al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen

Al Jazeera

A US drone strike killed two suspected members of al-Qaeda in southern Yemen, said a security official and residents. Saturday's raid in Ahwar, in the southern province of Abyan, killed two suspected fighters on a motorbike, the security official said. Tribal sources and residents said another drone fired at a crowd of suspected al-Qaeda militants in al-Saeed, in the adjacent province of Shabwa, but there were no reports on casualties in that incident. Yemeni officials and tribal sources said at least 20 fighters were killed in the air strikes on Thursday and Friday in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa and the nearby central province of Baida.