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Facebook To Develop AI Tool that Can Summarize News Content

Facebook just can’t stop making headlines. The social media giant, in the past, has been criticized for spreading misinformation about the pandemic, 2020 US presidential election, Black Lives Matter movement, and the latest antitrust lawsuit due to dominance of social media networks. And in the latest news, the firm is reportedly developing an AI tool that can summarize the content of news articles so that users don’t have to read the whole thing.

As per the report, Facebook is creating an AI tool called TLDR to summarize the main points of the news content. TLDR is an internet buzzword for “Too long, didn’t read” and is used on the internet as a joke/excuse for not reading long text online. The tool is also said to accompany the audio narration of the news content and a voice assistant to answers the questions related to the article. Facebook has also plans for a neural sensor that can detect people’s thoughts and translate them into action. The announcement and product demos were part of an end-of-year company-wide meeting at Facebook, according to the report.

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While the idea seems great, it would be quite hard to pull such a smart AI tool. AI can make mistakes and can create a summary that could be incomprehensible. While there are some similar tools such as the AutoTLDR bot on Reddit, bots in the past have also been seen to pick up problematic portions of the learning content. 2017’s Facebook’s shutdown of two AI programs talking to each other in non-understandable language and Microsoft’s Tay are some examples where AI can learn unneeded content. Facebook will also have to design the tool in a way that does not take quotes or sentences out of context. Other than that, the tool would also bring in concerns for the media companies as it will impact the traffic to their website and ad revenue. The company is already in conflict with Australian regulators and other tech giants on whether it should pay to license news content shared on its platform. December also marks the firm’s announcement of paying big media outlets in the UK to license their content as part of a new, dedicated news tab feature.

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Facebook is already pursuing to cement its presence in the news space. Last year, the company unveiled a dedicated section on its site named Facebook News in the US. The program is planned to extend to other countries including Brazil, Germany, and India.

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