Facebook A Serious Contender in the Artificial Intelligence Race

The last several years have been huge for the artificial intelligence field. There have been huge leaps in artificial intelligence technology and it’s generating more and more attention for the field. As artificial intelligence begins to seem more like a reality and becomes a part of our day-to-day life, more companies are joining in the race to be the first to create true artificial intelligence.

Google and IBM are two of the most notable companies working on artificial intelligence. Companies like Apple and Microsoft have been developing their AI personal assistants, Siri, and Cortana, respectively. But behind the curtains and unknown to most, Facebook has also recently joined the artificial intelligence race and they’re becoming a serious contender.

While most think of Facebook as a social media company, Facebook has actually grown to become one of the most advanced technology research companies in the world. They’ve turned their attention to creating computers that are less like linear, logical machines and more like humans.

How it all started

When Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, got together with Facebook leadership to discuss what they could do to stay relevant for the next 10–20 years, the idea of artificial intelligence came up. Facebook already uses some simplified artificial intelligence to predict what people will want to see in their News Feeds. They decided to consult Yann LeCun, a notable AI researcher to help them step up their game. They’ve since asked Yann to build the best artificial intelligence lab in the world.

Currently, Yann has put together a team of 30 AI research scientists and 15 engineers though that number is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years.

The Goal

According to LeCun, even the most advanced artificial intelligence systems in existence today are dumb compared to humans. Granted, they have access to unlimited stores of knowledge, but they lack the common sense that humans come by naturally. One of Yann’s primary goals, and perhaps his biggest obstacle is creating an artificial intelligence system that can learn unsupervised. Currently, the only way artificial intelligence systems learn is by humans giving them input. But humans learn simply by existing in the world and going about their day. To create true artificial intelligence, Facebook’s AI system will have to learn like humans learn.

Facebook M

In addition to working towards creating true artificial intelligence, Facebook is also working on a personal assistant much like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. It’s called Facebook M. The idea is to start implementing more practical uses of artificial intelligence as they work on true artificial intelligence. According to Yann and his team, Facebook M will be able to do far more than Siri or Cortana. They hope that within a couple of years, Facebook M will be able to make calls, and stay on hold for people until a person comes on the line. Practical indeed.

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Source: popsci.com/facebook-ai

Tags: artificial intelligence, AI, Facebook, Facebook M, artificial intelligence science, artificial intelligence technology