Facebook explains why it cares so much about artificial intelligence

Mike Schroepfer
Mike Schroepfer on stage at F8 Business Insider

Why does Facebook care so much artificial intelligence?

The company gets that question a lot, CTO Mike Schroepfer said on stage at Facebook’s F8 conference on Wednesday.

The key is your News Feed.

When you scroll through your feed, past photos, article links, or videos, you might not realise how much effort Facebook puts in to deciding what kind of content you want to see.

Any time you log on, you only see maybe 15 or 20 stories of the thousand or more that Facebook could have offered you.

It uses artificial intelligence to figure out the content of each post, which then influences what its algorithm will serve you (for example, figuring out that a photo someone shares is of a baby).

“We do it for billions of people a day, billions of times a day, with billions of pieces of content a day,” he said.

In total, there are 6 million predictions per second across Facebook’s AI platform.

Facebook needs you to keep coming back to Facebook so it can sell ads, and to keep you coming back to Facebook, it needs to servce you content that you want to see.

“You spend your time seeing the content you want to see with the people you want to see it with,” he said. “That’s AI.”

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