Facebook is constantly seeking ways to better analyze its users’ posts and find ways to target its advertising and content. Last week, it was revealed that the site is investigating deep learning (i.e., artificial intelligence) techniques that can create a “simulated neural network” to better understand the emotions behind users’ posts and better sort their News Feed. The system is a massive network of interconnected computers intended to simulate the human brain with learning algorithms.
“Research into understanding images, text, and language has been going on for decades, but the typical improvement a new technique might offer was a fraction of a percent,” Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, told the MIT Technology Review. “In tasks like vision or speech, we’re seeing 30 percent-plus improvements with deep learning… The data set is increasing in size, people are getting more friends, and with the advent of mobile, people are online more frequently.”
With all of the power and capabilities that such a network of artificial intelligence possesses, it hardly seems like a good application of it to dedicate it to sorting our News Feeds. Also, the idea of a massive AI network monitoring all users’ posts feels more than a little Orwellian. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Facebook will stop at nothing and spare no expense to create a totally customized experience for each of its users.
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