Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Facebook Utilizes Artificial Intelligence

Throughout recent history, humanity has come as far as creating and manipulating Artificial Intelligence (AI), applying it to many different things, such as the internet, in order to improve those things in their respective fields. This information technology (IT) is implemented into businesses to enable those corporations to reach more efficient and profitable levels. In this article, Facebook, launching its “Connectivity Lab”, has attempted to provide internet access, through the use of satellites and drones, to the rest of human population, even in the most remote places.
            The first component, from this article, that I feel should be emphasized is the purpose of this drone, and how IT is used to accomplish Facebook’s team’s goal. The ability that the drones/satellites have is to be able to give feedback to the user showing the locations where the human population is scattered. This is vital to the user, such as Facebook, because, as stated in the article, 99.9% of the earth is not populated by human-life, and with this technology, the user/business saves a lot of time and money. The next point that I would like to emphasize from the article is how artificial intelligence works for this technology. This concept depends on “neural networks” in order for this technology to be as accurate as possible. This concept, in simple terms, reads that if you allow the neural network to analyze the same thing repeatedly, then the drone or satellite will be able to recognize it from its aerial view, sending the information back to the user. This is significant because it allows for the user to find things other than humans, such as animals, terrains, artifacts, etc. The last point that I felt should be expanded upon is the technology’s less than 10% error rate. This shows significant effectiveness in this technology and by displaying a high-value, low-risk technology, and the ideas from this information technology can be spread to businesses throughout the world for their use to improve. In addition, with a low error rate, there is little room to improve, forcing technology to expand in other directions.

Although the AI utilized in drones and satellites do have great benefits when it comes to its abilities, there are ideas, not mentioned in the article that may give rise to some flaws. With the ability to find the locations in which people live, along with the ability to find different artifacts or special locations, this tool could lead to potential dangers to people around the world if placed into the wrong hands. I would have liked to learn how this problem could be avoided. Another flaw that I feel could be ran into with this IT is that not the whole human population has access to the internet. This could lead to the significant loss of money if an area of minimal technology is targeted. Lastly, I would like to have learned how this IT will affect unrelated businesses. Overall, this article was very interesting and insightful.


  1. I really do feel that the only jobs that will left one day will be AI programmers. In a world that is obsessed with automation its not surprising that Facebook has taken this route. Its amazing to see the many different ways that technology such as drones can be manipulated to benefit us. Maybe receiving our latest Amazon purchase ( in the from the sky isn't what we might consider 'beneficial' but this certainly is neat. Although somewhat impractical in some sense I can see what Facebook is trying to achieve. I'm sure that Facebook has enough of our personal information by now ( and I'm not sure why they need to know population statistics. Although we don't technically know where our information is going when collected I'm sure its not being used for anything that unsafe. The drone itself is worrisome let alone the possibility that this gets into the wrong hands. I can see your concern but unfortunately drones are very easy to purchase and I'm sure that someone willing to misuse that info is also willing to create something similar.

  2. Brian, this is a very interesting article. This technology seems unfathomable for today, however, I agree with Nick, I can see jobs in this world being run by AI in centuries ahead. It is remarkable that the error rate is so low for such a new technology. I thought this was fascinating and ironic to show just how intelligent humans are. I do also agree with your point that this technology could run into dead zones where there are people without internet. However, I think if this AI was ever implemented that it would be done so all over the world so there are no dead spots for the technology. On the flip side it could also be argued that the tech would not be placed in these dead zones with no internet so that there is no money wasted in that area. Lastly, I think the whole idea of this technology getting into the wrong hands stirs up a lot of debate. I look back and think about missiles and atom bombs being such a big source of power to a lot of nations; but now they are being used in negotiations. This article sheds light on the fact the innovation in technology is continuously growing and there is a lot of value behind this specific tech.

  3. This new form of technology, although beneficial, could be very concerning. I would like to know what kinds of securities are being implemented in order to prevent this technology from getting into the wrong hands. Also, I agree that this technology may only benefiting the people who can afford to use it. People who are not able to use this technology could be taken advantage off. I would really be interested in knowing why Facebook feels that this new technology should be created and what demographic(s) they are trying to appeal to. Also, I'm not sure how this technology would affect jobs.


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