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2 Jun 2017,
Posted by Emily Morgan

in Know, Google

Facebook wants truly conversational chatbots. 


Facebook is taking a step toward more conversational AI with ParlAI (par-lay), its open-source research platform for chatbot developers.  ParlAI, is being promoted as the “one-stop shop for dialog research,” giving developers access to each other’s research and training simulations. Facebook likely hopes ParlAI will spur development for more conversational, personalized chatbots and virtual assistants. The platform could also help build better user experiences for Facebook’s Messenger Platform. 

ParlAI’s goal is to serve two main purposes for chatbot developers, to act as a source of research and data from multiple sources to resolve large-scale problems and to help developers combine two forms of dialogue systems.  Advancements in artificial intelligence like ParlAI, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes.

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This is what Google's new fact check feature in its search results looks like. 

Google is wading into the battle against online fake news and adding a fact check to its search results. The tech giant announced it is rolling out globally a feature in its search and news results thatDghC5a3s_400x400.jpg will assess the authenticity of information shown. But Google isn’t doing the fact checking itself. Instead it will rely on respected independent fact checking organizations like PolitiFact and Snopes for information. 

Google is not alone as Facebook recently introduced a fact check feature of its own that would flag if an article being shared is disputed by fact checkers. Facebook also said it would provide tips to education to its users on how to spot fake news. Google has also tried to tackle fake news-peddlers by kicking them off its ad network, starving them of advertising revenue. This feature comes at a time of acute anxiety among much of the media and tech industry over the threat of "fake news" and misinformation online.
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Trump team to dismantle small-business part of Obamacare marketplaces. 

The Trump administration has said that it will dismantle part of the Affordable Care Act that created online insurance marketplaces for small businesses and tried to foster a greater choice of health plans for their workers.  In starting with the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, the administration is targeting an aspect of the Affordable Care Act that has never lived up to its proponents' expectations. As of early this year, federal figures show, nearly 230,000 people were covered through SHOP health plans, a fraction of the 4 million that congressional budget analysts had predicted as the small-business marketplaces began in 2014. 

The specifics of the impending change are a work in progress but the basic idea is to narrow, but not eliminate, the federal website for small-business insurance so that companies could still go online to apply for government tax credits under the law. However, they no longer would use that website to select health plans. The site instead would show the names of available insurers and tell companies to deal directly with brokers of the health plans. The separate marketplaces for businesses with 50 or fewer employees were intended to correct difficulties that many such companies had encountered with insurers because their size made it difficult to spread out the risk if an individual worker had high medical costs. As a result, small companies were much less likely to offer a choice of health plans or any coverage at all.




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