Facebook will ban deepfakes, but many fake videos can still fall through the cracks – Blog – 10 minute

In context: Facebook is stirring more controversy around its content policies with new changes that focus on fake videos created using artificial intelligence. At the same time, misleading content created using other techniques will only be marked as “false” and prevented from going viral through the news feed.
It’s no secret that Facebook is under pressure due to its controversial stance on political ads and its general policies on what content needs to go through fact-checking filters.
The social giant recently announced that it will ban deepfakes on its platform as a way to prevent them from interfering with the public perception on candidates of the 2020 presidential election campaign. The policy change was first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by Facebook on Monday night.
The decision means Facebook will begin removing all content that has been manipulated “in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person” such as through machine learning techniques, which have proven quite adept in the recent past. And while deepfakes aren’t as widespread as other types of manipulated content, the scale of Facebook’s platform can be used to weaponize attacks on a politician’s image through content that has been edited in a way that makes people think an official said something they didn’t actually say.

The obvious problem with the policy is that it doesn’t extend to content that is parody or satire, according to Facebook’s Monika Bickert. That’s also true for “video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words.” The Washington Post notes that misleading videos that are created using conventional editing methods could slip through the cracks, offering the notable example of a viral video where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s voice was altered using readily available software.
On the other hand, a video that doesn’t meet the new criteria for removal but violates the other Community Standards like hate speech and graphic violence can still get the boot from Facebook.

The company says it doesn’t want to make a stricter policy where it removes all manipulated videos flagged by its fact-checking filters or one of its 50 worldwide partners that comb through content in over 40 languages. Instead, the social giant will mark some of that content as false and control its visibility in the News Feed so that people can see things in context. The approach isn’t ideal, but Facebook thinks it’s a good compromise since false videos would still get uploaded on other platforms, which may or may not provide any clues about their authenticity.
Back in September 2019, Facebook partnered with Microsoft and several universities to create better open-source tools for detecting deepfakes as part of the Deep Fake Detection Challenge. The company poured $10 million towards research grants, hoping to encourage experts to contribute their ideas and spearhead development.

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Uncork Capital cracks open two new funds – gpgmail


Uncork Capital, the now 15-year-old, early-stage venture firm formerly known as SoftTech VC, has closed up two new pools of committed capital totaling $200 million: $100 million for its sixth early-stage fund, and $100 million for an “opportunity” fund so it can stuff a little more capital into those of its portfolio companies that start to break away from the pack.

The firm had closed its first opportunity fund with $50 million in mid 2016. It closed its fifth early-stage fund at the same time with $100 million.

We talked on Friday with Uncork founder Jeff Clavier about the firm, which is currently writing first checks that range from $750,000 to $2 million. He told us that as with Uncork’s most recent set of funds, the idea is to invest in roughly 35 companies across three years, taking 10 percent ownership on average, and up to 12 percent of a portfolio company when it is the lead investor.

Clavier also said that while fully half of the fund will go into startups that sell cloud software to businesses, Uncork plans to invest roughly 10 percent of the fund in consumer marketplaces; roughly 10 percent in hardware; roughly 20 percent in so-called frontier tech — whether it be augmented reality or virtual reality or space of robotics or blockchain-related deals; and roughly 10 percent in bioinformatics and synthetic biology.

That last area of interest is brand new to Uncork, so we asked if the firm — which counts Stephanie Palmeri and Andy McLoughlin as partners — was perhaps planning to hire a biotech investor. Clavier said that isn’t, that instead it will rely on external resources to help with due diligence and to learn along the way. “In the same way that I looked at 30 investments in space tech and invested in Loft Orbital [a company that’s assembling a constellation to carry payloads for customers who don’t want to operate their own satellites], my expectation is that I’ll look at a bunch of [synthetic bio] deals and we’ll end up with one or two,” he said.

Uncork has enjoyed a steady stream of exits in recent years, including, mostly newly, the sale of ad tech company Vungle for a reported $750 million last month to the private equity firm Blackstone. [Clavier declined to confirm or correct its sale price.]

Uncork is also an early investor in the food delivery company Postmates, which is reportedly on track to go public this year. And Uncork was an early backer in the email service startup SendGrid, which sold to the publicly traded communications platform Twilio earlier this last year for $3 billion in stock.

Some of the firm’s other high-profile bets include Fitbit, which went public in 2015; Brightroll, which was acquired by Yahoo in 2015; and Eventbrite, which went public last fall (though its shares almost immediately fell below their IPO price and have remained below it).

As for its first opportunity fund, the startup that has received the biggest check from Uncork — $5 million — is the fashion resale marketplace Poshmark, which is also reportedly eyeing an IPO in 2019.


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