ML startup bought by Twitter to combat misinformation

June 12, 2019 //By Rich Pell
 ML startup bought by Twitter to combat misinformation
Social media platform Twitter (San Francisco, CA) has announced that it is buying machine learning (ML) startup Fabula AI (London, UK) to help it better detect the spread of misinformation online.

The acquisition, says Twitter, will strengthen its machine learning expertise. The social media platform already leverages machine learning across a multitude of its product surface areas and is focused on key strategic areas such as natural language processing, reinforcement learning, ML ethics, recommendation systems, and "graph deep learning" - a novel method for applying powerful ML techniques to network-structured data.

Fabula AI uses graph deep learning to detect network manipulation. The result, says the company, is the ability to analyze very large and complex datasets describing relations and interactions, and to extract signals in ways that traditional ML techniques are not capable of doing.

"This strategic investment in graph deep learning research, technology and talent will be a key driver as we work to help people feel safe on Twitter and help them see relevant information," says Parag Agrawal, Twitter CTO. "Specifically, by studying and understanding the Twitter graph, comprised of the millions of Tweets, Retweets, and Likes shared on Twitter every day, we will be able to improve the health of the conversation, as well as products including the timeline, recommendations, the explore tab, and the onboarding experience."

Fabula AI was founded in 2018 by Michael Bronstein, Damon Mannion, Federico Monti, and Ernesto Schmitt. It is led today by co-founder and chief scientist Michael Bronstein, one of the world's leading researchers in graph deep learning, and has pioneered its application in the realm of Internet companies.

On the acquisition, Bronstein says, "We are really excited to join the ML research team at Twitter, and work together to grow their team and capabilities. Specifically, we are looking forward to applying our graph deep learning techniques to improving the health of the conversation across the service."

Once the acquisition is complete, says Twitter, its initial focus will be to improve the health of the conversation, with expanding applications to stop spam and abuse "and other strategic priorities in the future." Twitter

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