Social media giant Facebook on Thursday announced the development of a new artificial intelligence (AI) system called 'DeepText'. It can analyze what people are writing about in posts with near-human accuracy across 20 languages.
DeepText was announced in a blog post
today, with Facebook engineers explaining how it works and how it's
rolling out. The new AI is meant to let Facebook understand any writing
that it comes across. It intends to use that ability to make better
recommendations to people, both about related posts and related services
available on Facebook. On top of that, Facebook could also use DeepText
to identify spam or harassment and filter those comments out
It can be explained as-If Facebook knows what your status update is about, it can show it to people who care about that topic. If it understands the difference between “I just got out of the taxi” and “I need a ride” messages. It can ask if you want an Uber. If it detects that you’re trying to sell something in a status update, it can format post with the price and item details. And if Facebook can determine what kinds of comments on celebrities’ posts are interesting and not just “OH MY GOSH I LOVE YOU”, it can surface ones you’ll actually want to read.
With DeepText and its other image recognition AIs, Facebook could make huge improvements in how it routes content from authors to viewers. That could give it a leg-up over other social networks like Snapchat or Twitter without the know-how or product design to filter and suggest what people see.
Currently, a major challenge researchers face vis-Ã -vis creation of
human-like AI is the inability to create algorithms that can understand
subtle nuances in language. For instance, if an AI can be programmed to
understand the difference between “I need a ride,” “I just finished a
ride,” and “I found a ride”. It would know when to call a cab and when
This is the discrepancy Facebook hopes to resolve using DeepText. The AI would not only understand the words individually, it would also comprehend them in the proper context, thereby detecting the “intent” behind those words.