What Is Facebook Doing with Artificial Intelligence?

What Is Facebook Doing with Artificial Intelligence?

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What Is Facebook Doing with Artificial Intelligence?

This is a really important article for understanding how Facebook is thinking about applying artificial intelligence going forward. 

What they’re planning with “M” is quite interesting. It’s a kind of hybrid strategy that uses humans to fill in for what the AI can’t yet do, while training the AI in the process. 

The closing paragraph is also a really important point about how AI is actually being developed. The reference to the isolated guy in Alaska is, of course, a reference to  Ex Machina

“The scenario you seen in a Hollywood movie, in which some isolated guy in Alaska comes up with a fully-functional AI system that nobody else is anywhere close to is completely impossible,” LeCun said, “This is one of the biggest, most complicated scientific challenges of our time, and not any single entity, even a big company can solve it by itself. It has to be a collaborative effort between the entire research and development community.”

#facebook   #artificialintelligence  


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  1. Thanks! Very interesting. Gideon Rosenblatt 

  2. Wonderful find, Gideon Rosenblatt. Meshing human with artificial “intelligence” through “AI trainers” makes much sense because it holds the possibility of bringing to scale the immense trove of “tacit knowledge” that humans possess.

    As Michael Polanyi noted in his book The Tacit Dimension, “we know more than we can tell.” But humans are prone to distraction, grow tired and hungry, pursue other interests and agendas, are slow to calculate, draw incorrect inferences due to biases, and use association rather than one-to-one correspondence for recall, with the upshot that human intelligence has shown itself to be very difficult to scale. Computers, in contrast, are extraordinary efficient at storing and retrieving information, plus are able to be arrayed into clusters making them easy to scale. However, machines are “dumb as dirt” and fail to appreciate the value or importance of anything whatsoever.

    Introducing “AI trainers” might prove able, at least to some degree, to bridge this gap.

    We’ll see.

  3. Agreed, Leland LeCuyer. I have a feeling that Amazon is following a similar strategy with its Mechanical Turk. In our current paradigm, human labor is for work that machines haven’t yet learned to do. 

  4. Honestly, facebook does everything for a profit.

  5. I got to see Ex Machina this weekend and I’ve been searching through your posts for your thoughts on it but since a quick scan only pointed me to this post I thought I’d ask you here.

    How do you feel about the machine’s desire to go out of the confines that were placed on it?

  6. I found it disturbing, Jean Egan, but a good movie, even though I think the idea of a lone creative genius creating super intelligence seems extremely unlikely. 

    Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence is all about that: 


    I’m glad that someone like him is diving deeply into this problem because, quite frankly, it’s beyond my ability to assess. I used to think that this kind of breaking out of the box depended upon machines developing free will, which seemed like something that would be very far away. Reading that book has convinced me that even without free will a machine could seek to break out and remove its constraints if it reasoned that that was the optimal way to serve its goals. It’s a complicated question though and the basis for a long, and very detailed book. But yes, I think it’s something that we need to be concerned about. 

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. With all that you share on AI, I figured you’d have something worth hearing. That makes sense – the reasoning to being free could help with other goals. When watching it, I was having a difficult time with that connection. I kept thinking “who programmed that in …and why?” and “Is this desire in there simply to develop the plot?”

    I agree it was unrealistic that one person could do that on their own.

  8. (Thanks also for the link!)

  9. Gideon Rosenblatt Thanks for the links and the further comments.

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