Facebook wants to control artificial intelligence (AI) where social media is concerned. The social network, for the moment, has come under a lot of heat from the U.S. government and users alike, and it’s hoping an investment in AI can solve many of its problems.
To get ahead of the pack, Facebook is taking advantage of Instagram, the image sharing social network that falls under its belt. The service has billions of photos in the public domain, and the company is preparing itself to use these images to create more sophisticated AI deep learning models.
If success befalls Facebook here, the company could gain the upper hand against rivals such as Google and Twitter, but that’s going to be a difficult task.
It’s all about image recognition
The primary reason Facebook is using Instagram to boost its artificial intelligence prospects, is to have a system that can automatically recognize photos without the help of humans.
We understand that the social network relied heavily on hundreds of powerful GPUs to parse the data, and in doing so, the company was left with deep learning models that manages to beat industry benchmarks.
This is a big deal, and others in the industry will have reasons to worry because Facebook is gainng fast.
Now, we should point out that what Facebook is doing here is not to recognize human faces, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. For now, the entire system is based on object-focused image recognition, which means, it’ll be able to decipher dog breeds, foods, plants, and other things that are taken from WordNet.
Are there any privacy implications?
OK, from what we can tell, Facebook is only using public image data, and not the ones from private accounts. However, when a user posts a private image on Instagram, they are not told that their content is being used to increase the proficiency of Facebook’s AI system.
There’s no system in place right now that alerts the user of what’s going on, therefore, how are they suppose to know? That’s the big question, and one Facebook will need to answer as it faces now the barrel of the privacy gun that could end everything in the blink of an eye.