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Facebook Funds Harvard Effort to Fight Election Hacking, Propaganda

Facebook Inc (FB.O) will provide initial funding for a nonprofit organization that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks, the world’s largest social network said on Wednesday.

The initiative, dubbed Defending Digital Democracy, is led by the former campaign chairs for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mitt Romney, and will initially be based at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, which announced the project last week.

Facebook said it hoped additional participants would turn it into a freestanding information-sharing center controlled by its members. Facebook, with 2 billion monthly users, bills itself as …read more

Musk Says Zuckerberg Naive About Killer Robots

Silicon Valley baron Elon Musk insulted rival billionaire Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, escalating a tech wizard war of words over whether robots will become smart enough to kill their human creators.

“His understanding of the subject is limited,” Musk said in a tweet about the Facebook founder whose algorithms and other technology revolutionized social media and won 2 billion monthly active users.

Previously, Zuckerberg was asked about Musk’s views on the dangers of robots. In his response, Zuckerberg chided “naysayers” whose “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg and Musk, who is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, have been …read more

Kenyan Girls to Fly to Google Headquarters After Inventing App to End FGM

Animated chatter spills out from a corner of tech giant Google’s Nairobi offices as five Kenyan schoolgirls discuss their upcoming trip to California where they hope to win $15,000 for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.

“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino told the Reuters, while snacking on chocolate on a break from boarding …read more

Computer Vision Technology Teaches Drones to ‘See’

The popularity of drones keeps growing, both for personal and commercial use. Instead of humans controlling them, researchers are working on ways to teach the unmanned vehicles how to navigate and avoid obstacles. In Switzerland, researchers are training drones to recognize their surroundings and build 3D maps. VOA’s Deborah Block explains how. …read more