Jewish old age home rocked by wave of positive COVID-19 cases

The Highlands House Home for Jewish Aged in Vredehoek, Cape Town, has reported 38 positive COVID-19 cases among staff and residents.

Jewish old age home rocked by wave of positive COVID-19 cases

An elderly care facility in Vredehoek, Cape Town, has reported a wave of COVID-19 cases among staff and residents on Wednesday 13 May.

The Highlands House Home for Jewish Aged confirmed on that 26 staff members and 12 residents had tested positive after the facility’s latest round of testing for over 500 people.

One resident had already succumbed to the virus earlier in May. Old age homes are a concern for health officials, with tenants particularly vulnerable to the virus and it’s most severe symptoms.

Residents quarantined 

Executive director Harris Burman said that all residents are now confined to their rooms and are receiving care and protective equipment. 

“All 12 residents with positive test results were isolated on-site upon confirmation of test results,” Burman said.

“They are receiving all services in their rooms and do not leave their rooms. Nursing staff are closely monitoring them and each resident is attended daily by a doctor on-site. Staff attending to these residents has been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment.”

Residents who have not yet tested positive are also under strict quarantine in their respective rooms. 

“All our other residents are confined to their rooms for the time being. Our mentally frail residents are confined to their floor of the building, as the nature of their frailty does not allow for stricter confinement,” he added.

One fatality at facility in May

The facility is being monitored by a dedicated COVID-19 medical team, and provisions such as ventilators are being procured for the resident’s safety. They are being regularly monitored by on-site doctors. 

Burman said that any staff who had come into contact with a woman who died at the facility on 2 May were sent home immediately after she passed away.

“Upon confirmation of the results, we immediately sent home any and all staff who may have had contact with her,” he said. 

This is a developing story.

Source : The South African More   

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Facebook trains artificial intelligence on ‘hateful memes’

Facebook said it made a commitment to "disrupt" organised hateful conduct using artificial intelligence. Here's how.

Facebook trains artificial intelligence on ‘hateful memes’

Facebook unveiled an initiative Tuesday to take on “hateful memes” by using artificial intelligence, backed by crowdsourcing, to identify maliciously motivated posts.

The leading social network said it had already created a database of 10 000 memes – images often blended with text to deliver a specific message – as part of a ramped-up effort against hate speech.

‘Hateful memes challenge’

Facebook said it was releasing the database to researchers as part of a “hateful memes challenge” to develop improved algorithms to detect hate-driven visual messages, with a prize pool of $100 000.

“These efforts will spur the broader AI research community to test new methods, compare their work, and benchmark their results in order to accelerate work on detecting multimodal hate speech,” Facebook said.

Facebook’s effort comes as it leans more heavily on AI to filter out objectionable content during the coronavirus pandemic that has sidelined most of its human moderators.

Its quarterly transparency report said Facebook removed some 9.6 million posts for violating “hate speech” policies in the first three months of this year, including 4.7 million pieces of content “connected to organised hate.”

Advanced AI filtering

Facebook said AI has become better tuned at filtering as the social network turns more to machines as a result of the lockdowns.

Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president for integrity, said that with AI, “we are able to find more content and can now detect almost 90 percent of the content we remove before anyone reports it to us.”

Facebook said it made a commitment to “disrupt” organised hateful conduct a year ago following the deadly mosque attacks in New Zealand which prompted a “call to action” by governments to curb the spread of online extremism.

Automated systems and artificial intelligence can be useful, Facebook said, for detecting extremist content in various languages and analysing text embedded in images and videos to understand its full context.

‘Near identical’ images

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, told journalists on a conference call that one of the techniques helping this effort was a system to identify “near identical” images, to address the reposting of malicious images and videos with minor changes to evade detection.

“This technology can detect near perfect matches,” Schroepfer said.

Heather Woods, a Kansas State University professor who studies memes and extremist content, welcomed Facebook’s initiative and inclusion of outside researchers.

“Memes are notoriously complex, not only because they are multimodal, incorporating both image and text, as Facebook notes, but because they are contextual,” Woods said.

“I imagine memes’ nuance and contextual specificity will remain a challenge for Facebook and other platforms looking to weed out hate speech.”

© Agence France-Presse

Also read – Facebook’s efforts to protect privacy: In conversation with head of public policy

Source : The South African More   

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