Wikipedia's AI can automatically spot bad edits

Wikipedia's AI can automatically spot bad edits

Wikipedia has a new artificial intelligence service, and it could make the website a lot friendlier to newbie contributors. The AI, called Objective Revision Evaluation Service (ORES), will scour newly submitted revisions to spot any additions that look potentially spammy or trollish. Its creator, the Wikimedia Foundation, says it “functions like a pair of X-ray specs” (hence the image above) since it highlights anything that seems suspicious; it then sets that particular article aside for human editors to look at more closely. If the Wiki staff decides to pull a revision down, the contributor will get notified — that’s a lot better than the website’s current practice of deleting submissions without any explanation.

The team trained ORES to differentiate between unintentional human errors and what’s called “damaging edits” by using the Wiki teams’ article-quality assessments as examples. Now, the team can use the AI to score an edit based on whether it’s damaging or not.

This example, for instance, shows what the human editors see on the left and what ORES sees on the right. The AI’s “false” or not damaging probability score for it is 0.0837, while its “true” or damaging probability score is 0.9163. As you can see, “llamas grow on trees” isn’t exactly helpful or accurate.

Wikipedia's AI can automatically spot bad edits

As the Wikimedia foundation pointed out in its announcement, this isn’t the first AI designed to help human editors monitor the site’s content. However, those older tools can’t tell the difference between a malicious edit and an honest human error, making ORES the better choice if Wikipedia doesn’t want to lose even more contributors.

[Image credit: MGalloway (WMF)/Wikimedia]

Compare Your Gadgets

Wikipedia's AI can automatically spot bad edits

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

Half of Airbnb's New York City hosts are breaking the law

Half of Airbnb's New York City hosts are breaking the law

New York’s Attorney General already suspects that most Airbnb rentals in New York City are dodgy, and he now has some extra evidence to back up that claim… from Airbnb itself. The room sharing service has published data which, when given a close inspection, reveals that 55 percent of NYC hosts are (typically) violating the law by renting out whole apartments while they’re gone. They’re not necessarily setting up illegal hotels, but the Attorney General’s 2014 report revealed that 37 percent of revenue came from hosts with three or more listings. Unless there’s been a change in the past year, the odds are high that some of those recent hosts are abusing Airbnb to make a tidy profit.

Airbnb doesn’t mention this in its blog post on the subject, and cites the data as proof that New Yorkers primarily use its service to “pay the bills and stay in their homes.” In some ways, it’s right. An Airbnb host in the city earns a median of $5,110 per year from their guests — that’s enough to help cover the rent, but not enough for a full business. However, affordable housing advocacy groups are already calling Airbnb’s take a “whitewash” that masks the real problems with these rentals, which may be contributing to rent hikes. The most useful data still isn’t available, the groups add. Whatever the truth, it’s clear that Airbnb has a ways to go before it fulfills its promise of cooperating with cities.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews]

Compare Your Gadgets

Half of Airbnb's New York City hosts are breaking the law

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

Flash-based drives may soon be as cheap as the spinning kind

Flash-based drives may soon be as cheap as the spinning kind

If you’ve noticed that solid-state drives (and the PCs that include them) no longer cost an arm and a leg, you’re not alone. Researchers at DRAMeXchange understand that the price per gigabyte of an SSD has fallen off a cliff in the past three years, and the trend is only accelerating. If the company’s estimates are on the mark, these drives could cost just 11 cents more per gig than conventional hard drives by 2017. At that rate, you might not have to choose between high capacity and breakneck speed when you’re on a budget — you could easily afford both.

While this isn’t a surefire prediction, there are reasons to believe that it’ll come true. There are already plenty of affordable PCs that ship with SSDs, and the prices are likely to go down thanks to both economies of scale and fierce competition. And of course, technological breakthroughs are increasing the amount of flash storage you get for your dollar. Regular hard disks aren’t likely to kick the bucket for a while (not when there are already experimental 16TB models), but they may soon become the minority.

[Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Compare Your Gadgets

Flash-based drives may soon be as cheap as the spinning kind

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

CDC: Nearly half of American homes no longer have landlines

CDC: Nearly half of American homes no longer have landlines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new survey Tuesday, showing that nearly half of all American households now use only cell phones rather than older landlines. In total, 47 percent of the 21,000 households queried were cell-only, 41 percent use both, just 8 percent use just a landline, and 3.4 percent have no phone at all. Accounting for demographics, the results are even more staggering — 71 percent of 24-34 year-olds use only their cells. Additionally, renters were far more likely to not have landlines than landlords and people living with non-family members went cell-only 85 percent of the time.

The CDC has been tracking these phone trends since 2003. It does so because much of the CDC’s other survey work occurs over the phone and increasingly stringent laws governing phone surveys threatens to hinder those efforts.

[Image Getty]

Compare Your Gadgets

CDC: Nearly half of American homes no longer have landlines

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

New AI 'Gabriel' wants to whisper instructions in your ear

New AI 'Gabriel' wants to whisper instructions in your ear

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are building an AI platform that will “whisper” instructions in your ear to provide cognitive assistance. Named after Gabriel, the biblical messenger of God, the whispering robo-assistant can already guide you through the process of building a basic Lego object. But, the ultimate goal is to provide wearable cognitive assistance to millions of people who live with Alzheimer’s, brain injuries or other neurodegenerative conditions. For instance, if a patient forgets the name of a relative, Gabriel could whisper the name in their ear. It could also be programmed to help patients through everyday tasks that will decrease their dependence on caregivers.

For the software to exist as a working wearable assistant, it will need a head-mounted device to latch onto. For now, the team is using Google Glass for demos like a ping pong assistant, where the programs tells the user to hit the ball to the right or left depending on the position of the ball in relation to the opponent. In the video below, when the user follows the guidance it makes it harder for the opponent to defend the ball in the game.

The research, which received a 2.8 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, is essentially relying on cloudlets, which the team is calling Elijah. The team describes a cloudlet as an element between mobile computing and cloud computing that allows a user to rely on the nearest computing machine, instead of sending the information to a distant, remote server. According to CMU, “cloudlets are the enabling technology for a new genre of resource-intensive but latency-sensitive mobile applications that will emerge in the future.” One such application will be cognitive assistance. For a program to enhance the user’s ability to recognize and respond to the environment, low latency will make all the difference.

Compare Your Gadgets

New AI 'Gabriel' wants to whisper instructions in your ear

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

IRS promises to get a search warrant before spying on cellphones

IRS promises to get a search warrant before spying on cellphones

The IRS will no longer use “Stingray” cellphone-tracking devices unless the agency receives a search warrant supported by probable cause, in accordance with the Department of Justice’s Policy Guidance, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says in a letter. The agency’s use of Stingray surveillance devices went public in October, though at the time it was unclear how (and how often) the IRS used the technology. Stingray devices mimic cell towers to trick nearby phones into connecting to them, allowing the user to track locations, record calls and access text communications.

In today’s letter, Koskinen says the IRS has just one Stingray-style device — though it’s trying to get another — and only the agency’s Criminal Investigation division ever used it. The IRS-CI tracked a total of 44 cellular devices across 15 investigations since 2011, ranging from federal grand jury to state inquiries, Koskinen says.

The DOJ’s Policy Guidance regarding Stingray devices requires federal agencies to “obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause prior to using the technology except in exigent or exceptional circumstances,” Koskinen writes. The DOJ policy also states Stingray devices can’t be used to collect email or text communications at all. He promises the IRS policy will mirror these requirements.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

Compare Your Gadgets

IRS promises to get a search warrant before spying on cellphones

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

WSJ: Yahoo may sell itself off

WSJ: Yahoo may sell itself off

Yahoo’s attempt at turning around its fortunes hasn’t gone that well: on top of sagging profits and departing execs, it’s still heavily dependent on both its Japanese business as well as its stake in Chinese internet giant Alibaba. And now, it sounds like the company might want to hand over the reins to someone else. Sources for the Wall Street Journal understand that Yahoo is holding a “marathon” number of board meetings where the possibility of selling the company’s core business is on the table. It’s not certain how serious the web pioneer might be, but private equity firms are reportedly taking a peek.

Yahoo hasn’t commented on the apparent leak so far. However, it’s no stranger to courting potential buyers. Remember how Microsoft tried and failed to buy Yahoo in 2008? Yeah. A deal could prove tempting to a big company hoping to jumpstart its internet efforts, and it’d be a more realistic prospect now that Yahoo has lost some of its financial clout. While it won’t be shocking if Yahoo insists on maintaining its independence and giving its recovery plans a chance, it sounds as though its board’s patience is wearing thin.

[Image credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Compare Your Gadgets

WSJ: Yahoo may sell itself off

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

Comcast starts describing live video entertainment to the blind

Comcast starts describing live video entertainment to the blind

Sadly, the blind and others with visual impairments tend to lose some of the impact of live TV, especially entertainment. They’ll get the dialogue, but they’ll frequently miss the sight-based cues. Comcast thinks it can help, though. When a live performance of the musical The Wiz Live airs on NBC on December 3rd, the cable giant will include a video description track — the first in the US for live entertainment, in fact. Those who tune in to the Wizard of Oz recreation will know when a character walks on to the stage, frowns or otherwise does something important that microphones won’t pick up. While this kind of description isn’t par for the course at the moment, the production is a good first step toward making it ubiquitous in the broadcasting world.

Compare Your Gadgets

Comcast starts describing live video entertainment to the blind

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

Yahoo starts selling half of its Alibaba stake as promised, sends $3.65 billion to giddy shareholders

Yahoo starts selling half of its Alibaba stake as promised, sends $3.65 billion to giddy shareholders

Anyone who’s been holding on to Yahoo shares through thick and thin is about to reap the rewards of that patience. As the company promised, it’s starting to sell back half its stake in Alibaba, closing the first stage of the deal with the equivalent of $7.6 billion in pure revenue. The struggling search and content firm ‘only’ pockets a net $4.3 billion after taxes and other overhead costs, but it won’t even see that much in its bank account: it’s purposefully sending $3.65 billion of that money to shareholders, both to inspire new confidence and (unofficially) to head off activist investors like Dan Loeb that might otherwise want a coup d’état. If share owners plan on using the second stage of the sale to fund a vacation to Maui, though, they’ll need to wait. Yahoo’s deal prevents it from selling half of its remaining 23 percent stake unless Alibaba files for an initial public offering, and there’s no guarantee that investors will see another dime of the proceeds.

Show full PR text

Yahoo! Completes First Stage of Alibaba Share Repurchase Agreement Valued at $7.6 Billion

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced today that it has closed the initial sale of shares in Alibaba Group Holding Limited. At closing, Yahoo! received approximately $7.6 billion, $6.3 billion in cash and $800 million in preferred shares of Alibaba in exchange for half of Yahoo!’s 40 percent stake in Alibaba, as well as a payment of $550 million for a technology and intellectual property license agreement. Net cash proceeds after taxes and fees from the first stage of the repurchase agreement total approximately $4.3 billion.

“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”
“The completion of the first stage of the Alibaba share repurchase represents a significant milestone for both Alibaba and Yahoo!. The execution of the deal was excellent, and we are excited to announce its completion well within the six-month time frame we communicated. I look forward to continued partnership with Jack Ma and his team as they position Alibaba for future growth,” said Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. “The Yahoo! board and management have met, reviewed the strategy with regard to the proceeds, and are pleased to announce that we will be returning $3 billion of the proceeds to shareholders in addition to the ‘down payment’ of $646 million made over the past few months. This yields a substantial return for investors while retaining a meaningful amount of capital within the company to invest in future growth.”

Yahoo! will return approximately $3.65 billion in after-tax proceeds to shareholders, or 85 percent of the net cash proceeds from the initial sale of its shares in Alibaba. This amount includes $646 million the company has already returned to shareholders through share repurchases since the announcement of the transaction, as well as an additional $3.0 billion.

After accretion from the Alibaba share repurchase, Yahoo! continues to own approximately 23 percent of Alibaba Group common stock, valued at $8.1 billion based on this most recent round of funding. Together with its preferred stock, the implied valuation of Yahoo!’s entire remaining stake is approximately $8.9 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement with Alibaba, the second phase allows for Yahoo! to monetize approximately half of its remaining stake at the time of an initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba. After an IPO, Yahoo! has the right to sell its remaining shares at its discretion following a customary lock-up period.

Compare Your Gadgets

Yahoo starts selling half of its Alibaba stake as promised, sends $3.65 billion to giddy shareholders

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).

Santa's village comes to life as Google's holiday tracker goes online

Santa's village comes to life as Google's holiday tracker goes online

Now that Thanksgiving is complete and the holidays are officially upon us, Google has unveiled a new and expanded Santa’s Village for 2016. The dedicated website is part of the company’s annual Santa Tracker app promotion. This year, visitors will have plenty to do including learn about various charitable organizations while coloring in digital ornaments, play games, discover holiday traditions from around the world — even learn a bit of basic coding. More features will unlock daily as we get closer to Christmas.

Compare Your Gadgets

Santa's village comes to life as Google's holiday tracker goes online

Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!

Try it now →

This article is automatically posted by WP-AutoPost(The WordPress AutoBlog Plugin).