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Why Facebook is Researching Artificial Intelligence

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The artificial intelligence programs Facebook is developing to analyze photos are getting pretty good.

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's chief technology officer, gave a few examples while speaking to reporters at the Web Summit in Dublin this week. They included a program that could look at a photo of an infant and understand that it's looking at a baby and describe what the baby is doing. Facebook is also working on artificial intelligence that could look at a stack of blocks and determine whether it's at risk of falling down.

"So much of sharing on social networks is photos and videos," Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's chief technology officer, said Tuesday at the Web Summit in Dublin, according to CNBC.

"Much of your brain is dedicated to processing visual imagery. So one of the keys to building systems that work is teaching computers to understand the visual world."

While a computer program that can compliment babies and help people cheat at Jenga might sound fun, Facebook has more practical uses for artificial intelligence in mind. Eventually, the technology could be used to describe images to the visually impaired or search through massive amounts of data to find posts relevant to users.

Facebook, which opened an artificial intelligence research center in Paris over the summer, isn't the only company in the game. Both Google and Microsoft have started AI projects aimed at taking image analysis to new heights.