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Facebook and Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds very creepy yet exciting sitting in the same sentence, but that’s exactly where the world’s largest social network is heading. Moreover, it wants you to share your thoughts with your online friends in the near future.
There’s a lot of buzz around the subject of AI, from industry influencers like Elon Musk and Bill Gates sharing their predictions to blockbusters like Her, Transcendence or Ex Machina portraying extreme but plausible outcomes.
It’s to little surprise then when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a Q&A on Facebook recently questions around this subject were raised.
“[Facebook is] working on AI because we think more intelligent services will be much more useful for you to use,” the 31-year old billionaire wrote.
Zuckerberg explained that it would be amazing if computers could understand the meaning of the posts in News Feed and make suggestions based on that. He elaborated:
Similarly, if we could build computers that could understand what’s in an image and could tell a blind person who otherwise couldn’t see that image, that would be pretty amazing as well. This is all within our reach and I hope we can deliver it in the next 10 years.
It’s not a secret that Facebook has been experimenting with AI or so-called Deep Learning for the past few years. Facebook is in a race with other influencers like Google, Apple, Baidu and so on, to further develop research in the field of Deep Learning. Yann LeCun from the Facebook AI Research lab describes this as “machines that learn to represent the world” — an ambitious goal indeed.
Moreover, while the blue giant’s Messenger app today enables people to send everything from emoticons to money, Zuckerberg predicts that you’ll some day be able to send friends so much more: “You’ll be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too.”
In a response to a question on the virtual reality initiative, Oculus Rift, the founder wrote that it’s Facebook’s mission to give people the power to experience anything:
Just like we capture photos and videos today and then share them on the internet to let others experience them too, we’ll be able to capture whole 3D scenes and create new environments and then share those with people as well. It will be pretty wild.
Exciting or terrifying?