From Berkeley News
By John Hickey
Facebook, weathering an onslaught of bad press, is concerned enough to have announced this week it is making a $7.5 million investment in a partnership with three universities — UC Berkeley, Cornell and Maryland — to develop new methods to improve detection of fake content, fake news and misinformation campaigns.
Hany Farid will be one of two Berkeley faculty members involved, the other being Alexei Efros of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS), who specializes in artificial intelligence, graphics and computer vision.
Farid, who joins the faculty on a dual assignment this summer in EECS and in the School of Information, is a long-time crusader for holding social media companies accountable for removing and preventing harmful content.
“I have been skeptical,” Farid says of the new partnership. “But I have agreed to work with them for a year on the technology. For over a decade now, I’ve been pushing them and other big tech companies to take more responsibility for social media, for misinformation and fake news. I’d like to see a healthier online experience, and I am hoping that this is a first step in that direction.”
What Farid and Efros are being asked to do is to help craft that healthier experience.
“We will be working towards developing new technology to detect fake news, fake images, and fake videos,” Farid says. “This is part of a larger effort by Facebook to reign in harmful and dangerous mis-information campaigns on their platform.”
Professor Hany Farid has a joint appointment at UC Berkeley in the School of Information and EECS.