Facebook

Tom Simonite of the MIT Technology Review reports, “Facebook is set to get an even better understanding of the 700 million people who use the social network to share details of their personal lives each day. A new research group within the company is working on an emerging and powerful approach to artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which uses simulated networks of brain cells to process data. Applying this method to data shared on Facebook could allow for novel features and perhaps boost the company’s ad targeting. Deep learning has shown potential as the basis for software that could work out the emotions or events described in text even if they aren’t explicitly referenced, recognize objects in photos, and make sophisticated predictions about people’s likely future behavior.”

He continues, “The eight-person group, known internally as the AI team, only recently started work, and details of its experiments are still secret. But Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, will say that one obvious way to use deep learning is to improve the news feed, the personalized list of recent updates he calls Facebook’s ‘killer app.’ The company already uses conventional machine learning techniques to prune the 1,500 updates that average Facebook users could possibly see down to 30 to 60 that are judged most likely to be important to them. Schroepfer says Facebook needs to get better at picking the best updates because its users are generating more data and using the social network in different ways.”

Read more here.

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