Facebook AI boss Yann LeCun goes off in Twitter rant, blames talk radio for hate content

Facebook’s world-renowned AI guru, Yan Laken, had some trouble with an article he wrote about his company yesterday. So he did any of us, he went on social media to air his grievances.

Only, he does not fight Facebook as you would expect. Instead, in a few hours, he connected with many people on Twitter.

Can we just pause for a moment and appreciate it, on a random Thursday in March the father of Facebook’s AI program gets Twitter To argue about a piece from journalist Karen Hao, an AI reporter for MIT’s Technology Review?

Hao wrote An incredibly long form feature On Facebook’s Content Moderation Problem. The piece is called “How Facebook became accustomed to spreading misinformation,” and the sub-title is a dose:

The company’s AI algorithm gave it an incomparable habit for false and vulgar language. Now the man who made them cannot fix the problem.

I will quote here just one paragraph from Hao’s article which shows its essence:

Everything the company does and chooses not to flow with the same motivation: Zuckerberg’s relentless desire for growth… [Facebook AI lead Joaquin Quiñonero Candela’s] AI expertise supercharged that development. His team dove into targeting AI bias, as I learned in my reporting, because preventing such bias helps the company avoid the proposed regulation, which if passed would hinder that growth Can. The Facebook leadership has also repeatedly weakened or halted several initiatives to clean up misinformation on the platform because doing so would undermine that development.

There is a lot to unpack, but it is a sign that Facebook is inspired by the singular goal of “development”. The same can be said about cancer.

LeCun, apparently, did not like the article. He hopped on the app that Jack created and shared his thoughts, including a personal attack questioning Hao’s journalistic integrity:

Yesterday his umbrage blamed talk radio and journalism for his company’s woes:

Really yan? Is increasing polarization through disintegration uniquely American? Have you met my friend “for the reason that every single war has ever been fought in history?”

I digress.

This will not be the first time Took to twitter To argue in defense of his company, but more was going on than yesterday. LeCun’s molestation announcement begins with a tweet New research On fairness from the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Team (FAIR).

According to Hao, Facebook coordinated the paper’s release to coincide with the Tech Review article:

Based on the evidence, it appears that Facebook was absolutely inconsistent with Hao’s reporting. It seems that the social network was expecting a feature in progress to change its algorithms, detect bias, and counter abusive language. Instead, Hao poses the essential problem with Facebook: it is a spider web.

Those are my words, not Hao’s. What he wrote was:

Near the end of our hour-long interview… [Quiñonero] Insisted that AI was often depicted as a “criminal”. Regardless of whether Facebook has used AI or not, he said, people will still make lies and hate speeches, and this content will still spread across the platform.

If I had that effect, I could have said something like, “Whether our company puts petrol on the ground and provides everyone with a book of books, we’re still going to set fire to the forest.” But, again, those are my words.

And when I say that Facebook is a spider web, I mean: spider webs are good, until they reach too far. For example, if you see a spider web in the corner of your barn, that’s great! This means that you are a small warrior who helps you keep out the nastier worms. But if you see a spider web covering your entire city, such as “Kingdom of the Spiders”, that’s a very bad thing.

Kingdom of spiders