Facebook’s chief AI scientist believes the company would be ‘dust’ without AI


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Yann LeCun, who founded Facebook’s artificial intelligence research lab five years ago said that the social network would be ‘dust’ without artificial intelligence. “If you take the deep learning out of Facebook today, Facebook’s dust,” LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, recently told CNN Business. “It’s entirely built around it now.”

Facebook uses artificial intelligence in everything from the newsfeed and posts to translations and advertisements. When Mr LeCun joined Facebook and established the research lab, the company was already immersed in deep learning, a technology LeCun has mastered since the 1980s.

Deep learning software is modelled based on the functions and way neurons work inside the human brain. The technology continuously deals with huge chunks of data and learn to analyze the insights to make its own predictions.

Mark Zuckerberg is a core supporter and enthusiast of artificial intelligence and its implications. That is the reason why Facebook decided to dabble AI as a key part of its future back in 2013. In the early days, the social network looked at deep learning and artificial intelligence as a technology to classify photos and recognize user’s faces.

Facebook collected loads of information from its users for years. And with the current overload of data and extremely powerful computers, deep learning has improved significantly. Several tech firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are using deep learning for tagging people in photos, enabling virtual assistants and improving sales.

Social networks cannot function without deep learning. No tech company could grow without deep learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning. If any company fails to adapt AI now, it will not be able to keep pace, according to LeCun. The technology is used absolutely everywhere.

There are certain implications of deep learning which users are unaware about when they use Facebook. The social media company uses advanced algorithms to remove and filter hate speech from the network. However, there are some visible implications like delivering ads to the right audience, newsfeed curation according to a user’s likings as well as auto-tagging suggestions.

Facebook has faced criticism for its AI efforts. The social media firm is shifting to AI to help moderate hate speeches on the platform. However, a lot of similar posts slip through the AI system due to lack of accuracy. Deep learning is evolving and it could take years of time and petabytes of data to finally perfect content moderation.

Unlike Elon Musk who is worried about the dangers of artificial intelligence, LeCun stresses that AI cannot take over the world. Deep learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are in its early phases and far behind to what he likes to call a “Terminator scenario”. The technology may have beaten humans at games like Go and Chess but lacks behind humans-like intelligence and common sense.

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