Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Facebook’s AI Initiative to Make the World a Connected Place

These days, companies are turning towards all technology advancements such as Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality to make new inventions and establish a strong hold in the tech world. Facebook is on the top of the list of such companies. Recently, the company announced its decision to connect mankind through the medium of internet.

Facebook has used all the possible means to make the internet accessible to maximum number of people either through the use of drones or satellites. But, now it is all set to take a more substantial step in this direction. Instead of relying on the old data about the density of population in different countries, Facebook is launching the concept of its own detailed maps that will be able to fetch data more precisely than any other medium.

Facebook’s Detailed Maps
Facebook’s connectivity lab has collaborated with the Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network at Columbia University to develop a global map that can tell the exact figures of the human density on different places. It will also help to determine the best ways to make internet accessible to those who are still offline.

Artificially intelligent technologies are able to identify patterns and images, and Facebook is using its own expertise to clearly distinguish between man-made structures and natural properties. The analysis is going to be so accurate that Facebook’s resolution is going to beat all predictions and provide the closest estimate, only of 500 meters. Facebook will be able to closely analyze the situations in which people are living, and also to understand which medium will be the best to make internet accessible to people that still need a connectivity medium such as internet.

Different mediums of making internet accessible include tower connection, drones, traditional wired medium or wireless.

As of now, the company has generated maps for 20 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Turkey, and Tanzania that cover 21.6 million square kilometers across different countries.

Other Advantages of Facebook’s Global Map
The uses of Facebook’s global maps are not only confined to the analysis that needs to be done by the company, instead these global maps will serve many other requirements as well. Some of its other advantages are given below:

1.These detailed global maps will be very helpful in extracting the accurate information about a certain place for accelerating socio-economic research and growth.
2.This data is going to be very helpful for observing the ruction in natural properties such as rivers to notify about any natural disaster in advance.
3.Better satellite imagery will be available with the new improved detailed maps.
4.This map’s preview will help governments to invest in a more qualitative manner than before in the fields such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education.
5.It will help different departments to react in a better way during emergency situations.

In a press release Facebook said that “This data will give us a greater understanding of how populations are dispersed, so governments and others can prioritize investments in infrastructure, from transportation to healthcare and education. It can also help rapid-response times during emergencies and other disasters and inform our understanding of the ecological impact of growth.”

Other Fields in Which Facebook is Utilizing AI
Artificial Intelligence is not a new field for Facebook. Apart from global maps, the company is also involved in doing many other projects as well that are based on AI. An introduction of some of them is given here:
Facebook’s Internet Drones - Facebook internet drones are produced by the company to bring internet access to all the people on earth who don’t have it.
Teaching machines to see and understand – It is a Facebook initiative to make the lives of people easier.

This is not all. There are many other fields as well in which Facebook is keen to show its expertise in Artificial Intelligence such as natural language processing, security and privacy etc.

Artificial Intelligence has grown up to many folds in recent years & is making some breathtaking innovations regularly to help mankind move a step further. What this technology is holding for the future is an interesting thing to see, but the pace with which it is growing seems unstoppable. This recent achievement of Facebook will help in making the lives of people better. Those who are deprived of basic facilities will get their access on the global data and thus help the respective government to serve them better. So, though the company is making detailed global maps for its own good, for spreading Facebook’s access to maximum number of people, but it will benefit mankind in many other ways as well. We all are excited to see the future progress of this project, so you just stay tuned with us and we will bring you all the updates.

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