Facebook Touts Open AI Framework, New AR/VR Advancements

The second day of Facebook's F8 conference focused on the long-term technology investments the company is making in three areas: connectivity, AI and AR/VR.

May 3, 2018

2 Min Read

The second day of F8 focused on the long-term technology investments we are making in three areas: connectivity, AI, and AR/VR. Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer kicked off the keynote, followed by Engineering Director Srinivas Narayanan, Research Scientist Isabel Kloumann, and Head of Core Tech Product Management Maria Fernandez Guajardo.

From advances in bringing connectivity to more people throughout the world to state-of-the-art research breakthroughs in AI to the development of entirely new experiences in AR/VR, Facebook continues to build new technologies that will bring people closer together and help keep them safe.

Artificial Intelligence
We view AI as a foundational technology, and we’ve made deep investments in advancing the state of the art through scientist-directed research. Today at F8, our artificial intelligence research and engineering teams shared a recent breakthrough: the teams successfully trained an image recognition system on a data set of 3.5 billion publicly available photos, using the hashtags on those photos in place of human annotations. This new technique will allow our researchers to scale their work much more quickly, and they’ve already used it to score a record-high 85.4% accuracy on the widely used ImageNet benchmark.

AR/VR
Facebook’s advancements in AR and VR draw from an array of research areas to help us create better shared experiences, regardless of physical distance. From capturing realistic-looking surroundings to producing next-generation avatars, we’re closer to making AR/VR experiences feel like reality.

Connectivity
These advances in AI and AR/VR are relevant only if you have access to a strong internet connection — and there are currently 3.8 billion people around the world who don’t have internet access. To increase connectivity around the world, we’re focused on developing next-generation technologies that can help bring the cost of connectivity down to reach the unconnected and increase capacity and performance for everyone else. In Uganda, we partnered with local operators to bring new fiber to the region that, when completed, will provide backhaul connectivity covering more than 3 million people and enable future cross-border connectivity to neighboring countries. Meanwhile, Facebook and City of San Jose employees have begun testing an advanced Wi-Fi network supported by Terragraph. Trials of Terragraph are also planned for Hungary and Malaysia. We are also working with hundreds of partners in the Telecom Infra Project to build and launch a variety of innovative, efficient network infrastructure solutions. And, as with our work in AI and other areas, we are sharing what we learn about connectivity so that others can benefit from it.

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