Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort to Find Meaning in Your Posts
Facebook’s piles of data on people’s lives could allow it to push the boundaries of what can be done with the emerging AI technique known as deep learning.
Deep learning could help Facebook understand its users and their data better. Deep Learning is a new area of Machine Learning research, which has been introduced with the objective of moving Machine Learning closer to one of its original goals: Artificial Intelligence. In fact, Deep learning is just a buzzword for neural nets, and neural nets are just a stack of matrix-vector multiplications, interleaved with some non-linearities. I’ve done some work in the 90s on multilayer neural networks for use in speech recognition, however at that time, the only processing power we had was a network of sparc stations grinding all night to recognize one number. I am very curious to see where Facebook immensely innovative teams (see The Graph and the OpenCompute Project) is going to take us this time !
[Thank you MIT Technology Review | By Tom Simonite 09.20.13]
Facebook is set to get an even better understanding of the 700 million people who use the social network to share details of their personal lives each day.
A new research group within the company is working on an emerging and powerful approach to artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which uses simulated networks of brain cells to process data. Applying this method to data shared on Facebook could allow for novel features and perhaps boost the company’s ad targeting.
Deep learning has shown potential as the basis for software that could work out the emotions or events described in text even if they aren’t explicitly referenced, recognize objects in photos, and make sophisticated predictions about people’s likely future behavior.
The eight-person group, known internally as the AI team, only recently started work, and details of its experiments are still secret. But Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, will say that one obvious way to use deep learning is to improve the news feed, the personalized list of recent updates he calls Facebook’s “killer app.” The company already uses conventional machine learning techniques to prune the 1,500 updates that average Facebook users could possibly see down to 30 to 60 that are judged most likely to be important to them. Schroepfer says Facebook needs to get better at picking the best updates because its users are generating more data and using the social network in different ways.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: the wearable space is still bringing all the old metaphors of computation and still interpreting them in a literal way—that they are a smaller smartphone, or a little computer. And that’s why Samsung is introducing half-baked, pre-”me too” devices with neither innovative value nor consumer demand, with only purpose is to pre-empt an apple move.
Genevieve Bell, director of Intel’s user experience research, says companies building wearable computers haven’t figured out why people might want them. And she is right: innovation is not about “gear”, it’s about solving a problem.
More about Galaxy Gear: http://www.philippemora.net/1/post/2013/09/is-samsungs-galaxy-gear-the-first-truly-smart-watch.html
[Thank you MIT Technology Review | By Tom Simonite 09.17.13]
Many technology companies are rushing to develop wearable computers without much evidence that people want such devices.
Gadget ethnographer: Intel’s Genevieve Bell travels the world to study people’s lives and how technology fits into them.
As director of Intel’s interaction and experience research group, anthropologist Genevieve Bell helps the company understand how the chips and other products developed in its labs might fit into the world of humans. Her team of social scientists, designers, and engineers interview and observe people in countries around the globe to understand how they use and think about technology.
That work has recently included investigating how people think and feel about technology worn on the body, or wearable computing. Bell is wary of the early examples of wearable computers being readied by companies such as Google (see “Google Wants to Install a Computer on Your Face”), Samsung, and others (see “Smart Watches” and “Samsung’s Galaxy Gear”). She says they won’t be popular until it becomes clear how their technical features can enhance people’s lives.
Who else can sell 9 million phones in 3 days in just a few countries ? That’s worth a quarter of 250+ galaxy models over more than 100 countries. So thank you marketing pundits and other droids, there is more to a phone than hardware speed and megapixels.
The 5C is a secondary usage phone in our hemisphere, for sports and outdoors, while 5S is a flagship model with very innovative features. Not the fingerprint, rather the slow motion iSight camera, lightfield flash technology and M7 integrated sensor chip.
Ideally, you’ll own both of them.
[Thank You Venture Beat, by Tanner Marsh | 09.23.13]
If Apple is doomed, perhaps being doomed isn’t so bad.
The company confirmed today that combined sales if its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C have topped 9 million in first-weekend sales, breaking the 5 million record set by the iPhone 5 last year.
But while the news is indeed big for Apple, it’s fairly unsurprising if you consider two things: One, this is the first time Apple has launched two iPhones at one time, which obviously boosts their combined numbers. (Apple didn’t break out the individual sales of either device, likely because neither by itself broke any records. That makes sense.)
Perhaps more significant: This was the first year Apple launched an iPhone in China, which is doubtless full of people waiting to get in on the iPhone action.
For Apple, the situation is so good that it’s also telling its investors to expect a good quarter this time around.
The company said in a SEC filing that it “expects total company revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion, and expects gross margin to be near the high end of the previously provided range of 36% to 37%.”
It’s an unusual move for Apple, but you’d brag too if you just sold 9 million phones in three days.
Sadly, all of this is probably bad news for those of you unwilling to wait in any of the iPhone launch lines: Apple has pushed online shipping dates for both devices into October. But you already knew that would happen.
“The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we’ve sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
Read more: http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/23/apple-has-already-sold-9-million-new-iphones-shattering-first-weekend-sales-records/#COU93TacI1Rhm4Gf.99
Many executives realize that they need a new playbook for our new hyperconnected world.
Those who climbed the corporate ladder in silos while using a “command and control” style will have a difficult time adjusting to the new realities, and that is good for corporate america.
Leaders today must be able to harness ideas, people, and resources from across boundaries of all kinds. That requires reinventing their career strategies and building strong connections both inside and outside their organizations.
[Thank you Harvard Business Review | by Herminia Ibarra and Morten T. Hansen, July 2011]
Watching his employees use a new social technology, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, had an epiphany. His company had developed Chatter, a Facebook inspired application for companies that allows users to keep track of their colleagues and customers and share information and ideas. The employees had been trying it out internally, not just within their own work groups but across the entire organization. As Benioff read the Chatter posts, he realized that many of the people who had critical customer knowledge and were adding the most value were not even known to the management team.
The view into top management from the rank and file was just as obscure, Benioff knew. For instance, the company’s annual management off-site was coming up, and he could tell from talking to employees that they wondered about what went on behind closed doors at that gathering. “They imagined we were dressing up in robes and chanting,” he says.
What could he do to bring the top tier of the company closer to the workforce? Benioff asked himself. And then it hit him: Let’s use Chatter to blow open the doors of the management off-site.
What greeted the 200 executives who attended that meeting was atypical. All 5,000 Salesforce.com employees had been invited to join them—virtually. Huge TV monitors placed throughout the meeting room displayed the special Chatter forum set up for the off-site. Every manager received an iPod Touch, and every table had an iPad, which attendees could use to post to the forum. A video service broadcast the meeting in real time to all employees, who could beam in and instantaneously express their views on Chatter, too.
The meeting began with the standard presentations. The managers watching them weren’t quite sure what to do. Nothing unusual happened at first. Finally, Benioff grabbed the iPad on his table and made a comment on Chatter, noting what he found interesting about what was being said and adding a joke to spice it up. Some in the room followed with a few comments, and then employees watching from their offices launched a few comments back. The snowball started rolling. “Suddenly, the meeting went from a select group participating to the entire company participating,” Benioff says.
Comments flew. “We felt the empowerment in the room,” recalls Steve Gillmor, the head of technical media strategy.
In the end the dialogue lasted for weeks beyond the actual meeting. More important, by fostering a discussion across the entire organization, Benioff has been able to better align the whole workforce around its mission. The event served as a catalyst for the creation of a more open and empowered culture at the company.
Like Salesforce.com’s managers and employees, businesspeople today are working more collaboratively than ever before, not just inside companies but also with suppliers, customers, governments, and universities. Global virtual teams are the norm, not the exception. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, videoconferencing, and a host of other technologies have put connectivity on steroids and enabled new forms of collaboration that would have been impossible a short while ago.
i blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech, Experiences and anything holistic.
> Head of Product and VP Engineering