When Facebook introduced its Graph Search function, which allows users to sift through over 1 trillion pieces of individual content like statuses and comments on the site via a search engine, many users were put off. Years-old content could now potentially be dredged up in a search if users weren’t careful about their privacy settings, and even if users did have their profiles locked down, their social network could be used to glean information about them via their connections. However, in a statement to investors last week, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that these simple searches are just the beginning for how the site wants to use user information to fuel search functionality.
Facebook is investigating ways to incorporate advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the site that can read user content on a deeper level. The technology could “read” user posts with a natural understanding of language, and intuit pieces of information that a simple “like” can’t provide.
“The goal here is to use new approaches in AI to help make sense of all the content that people share,” Zuckerberg said. He also went on to say that Facebook can be used as “the clearest model of everything there is to know in the world.”
It’s an ambitious goal, but Zuckerberg seems to want Facebook to serve as a virtual warehouse of essentially all human interaction. (He also mentioned to investors that he’s interested in exploring voice recognition technology.) As off-putting as Facebook’s pursuit of user data can sometimes seem, it’s clear that the site’s use of it is only going to increase as the technology to analyze it improves.