In a secret research program, social media behemoth Facebook is experimenting with “deep learning” artificial intelligence technology intended to further identify and secure information on its users. Deep learning AI is intended to survey existing account data to predict future online activity. The project is overseen by an eight-member group called the “AI Team.”
According to MIT Technology Review, “Deep learning has shown potential as the basis for software that could work out the emotions or events described in text even if they aren’t explicitly referenced, recognize objects in photos, and make sophisticated predictions about people’s likely future behavior.”
Google has already carried out successful experiments using deep learning technology with software capable of recognizing specific images from YouTube videos. If fully deployed, the new technology will likely analyze not only the things one writes on Facebook but also uploaded photos for various personal interests and social affinities.
Facebook can potentially promote deep learning so advertisers may render ads and promotions to prospective users, which critics recognize as increasingly weighing on privacy concerns. As Madison Ruppert of End the Lie observes, Facebook already has a number of technology projects underway, including a huge facial recognition database, and was recently cited for privacy violations and playing a role in NSA spying.
“Facebook Has Set Up a New Artificial Intelligence Group” InfoSecurity, September 23, 2013, http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/34651/facebook-has-set-up-a-new-artificial-intelligence-group/.
Tom Simonite, “Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort to Find Meaning in Your Posts,” MIT Technology Review, September 20, 2013, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/519411/facebook-launches-advanced-ai-effort-to-find-meaning-in-your-posts/.
Madison Ruppert, “Facebook Wants to Use Artificial Intelligence to Better Understand What You Post, Predict Online Actions” End the Lie, September 21, 2013, http://endthelie.com/2013/09/21/facebook-wants-to-use-artificial-intelligence-to-better-understand-what-you-post-predict-online-actions/#axzz2l2dn664d.
Student Researcher: Andrevious Shaw (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)