Facebook’s AI categorizes everything you write — sells the info to someone

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 automatically 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.

These are the big applications for Facebook’s newest artificial intelligence system called “DeepText”. 400,000 new stories and 125,000 comments on public posts are shared every minute on Facebook. DeepText will help Facebook analyze several thousand per second across 20 languages with near-human accuracy.

One of the first obvious applications for DeepText will start rolling on Messenger. When DeepText identifies a sentence it thinks means you need a ride, it will suggest you use Messenger transportation integrations with services like Uber and Lyft. Recognizing “I need a ride” is easy, but it should also be able to pick up on things like “Should I call a car?”, “I can pick you up in 20”, or “I’ll get an Uber”.

Yes, there are beaucoup positive potential applications of the tech. Like any other. Privacy vs serviceable suggestions are immediate questions that you have to decide. Whether or not you have any control over the questions and answers is between you and Facebook, though.

6 thoughts on “Facebook’s AI categorizes everything you write — sells the info to someone

  1. J. Palmer says:

    Think WordPress does the same? Not that I really care, but it is interesting that someone might actually be willing to pay (regardless of how little) for my writing.

  2. Harry Caul says:

    In response to concerns that Facebook listens to user conversations in order to better target advertising, the company recently stated: “Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true. We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information – not what you’re talking out loud about. We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.”

  3. NINA says:

    Facebook lets advertisers exclude users by race https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-lets-advertisers-exclude-users-by-race “The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.

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