Big Tech Firms Adopt Code

Big Tech platforms sign new EU disinformation code. The 34 signatories, such as platforms, tech companies and civil society followed the 2021 Commission Guidance and took into account the lessons learnt from the Covid-19 crisis and Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

Big Tech platforms like Meta, Microsoft, Google, Twitter and others on Thursday signed up to a new “Code of Practice on disinformation” in the European Union (EU).

The 34 signatories, such as platforms, tech companies and civil society followed the 2021 Commission Guidance and took into account the lessons learnt from the Covid-19 crisis and Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

The new Code sets out extensive and precise commitments by platforms and industry to fight disinformation and marks another important step for a more transparent, safe and trustworthy online environment, the European Commission said in a statement.

 Notable, some Big Tech companies like Apple and Telegram are yet to sign the code.

 “We now have very significant commitments to reduce the impact of disinformation online and much more robust tools to measure how these are implemented across the EU in all countries and in all its languages,” said Vera Jourova, Vice-President for Values and Transparency.

 “This new anti-disinformation Code comes at a time when Russia is weaponising disinformation as part of its military aggression against Ukraine, but also when we see attacks on democracy more broadly,” Jourova added.

 The new Code will also reduce financial incentives for disseminating disinformation and allow researchers to access to platforms’ data more easily.”

 “To be credible, the new Code of Practice will be backed up by the DSA (Digital Services Act), including for heavy dissuasive sanctions. Very large platforms that repeatedly break the Code and do not carry out risk mitigation measures properly risk fines of up to 6 per cent of their global turnover,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market.

  The 34 signatories include major online platforms, notably Meta, Google, Twitter, TikTok and Microsoft, as well as a variety of other players like smaller or specialised platforms, the online ad industry, ad-tech companies, fact-checkers, civil society or that offer specific expertise and solutions to fight disinformation.

  The strengthened Code aims to address the shortcomings of the previous Code, with stronger and more granular commitments and measures, which build on the operational lessons learnt in the past years.

  Signatories will have six months to implement the commitments and measures to which they have signed up.

 At the beginning of 2023, they will provide the Commission with their first implementation reports.

Connecting cultures

Microsoft and the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), here on Friday announced the launch of a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform for connecting artworks and cultures around the world.

The platform called INTERWOVEN is rooted in MAP’s vast collection of South Asian textiles and was developed as part of Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage initiative, which leverages technology to empower people and organisations dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of art and culture.

  INTERWOVEN brings together collections from key institutions and partners across the world alongside MAP’s (including the V&A in London, MET in New York, Rietberg in Zurich and the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada) to reveal connections between artworks from different cultures, mediums and time periods.

  INTERWOVEN represents these visually and intuitively, encouraging further exploration, discovery and cross-cultural exchange.

 After the pandemic, a primary aspect of our mission is to use the digital realm to connect with people across the country, and the world. Wea¿re rethinking the idea of museums. They cannot be mere repositories of objects,” said Kamini Sawhney, Director, MAP, in a statement.

  “MAP will not just be a collection of objects, but a space for ideas and conversations that are initiated through our collections. INTERWOVEN fits securely within this vision.”

 The platform works by providing users two options. The first allows the user to view predefined journeys, created primarily by MAP’s educational and research arm, the MAP Academy.

 These combine relationships between global artefacts suggested by the AI, which are then researched and expanded further by individual curators. It is an explorative model for how AI might be used in museology and art historical research.

 The second option invites general users to explore the platform to stumble upon meaningful and sometimes even surprising visual connections. It provides a new way to engage with culture and learn more about the history of textiles and fashion and their relationship to global exchange.

 Previous projects under Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage initiative have involved improving accessibility through the Open Access collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the digital restoration of ‘Ancient Olympia’, in collaboration with the government of Greece.

  In India, the MAP in Bengaluru is the first project under this initiative.

  “INTERWOVEN is a project that is deeply impactful to society, culture, and heritage. The project interweaves technology with art, using AI to find shared histories in artistic traditions from different corners of the globe, particularly pertaining to something as rich and complex as textiles,” said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer at Microsoft India.

  “Our approach to AI centres around meaningful innovation and this project beautifully allows art to be more accessible and inclusive for people around the world. We stay committed to using technology to help celebrate and preserve culture as part of our AI for Cultural Heritage initiative,” she added.

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