AI is an evolving field of computer science that's already part of daily life for billions of people around the world. It can take single tasks that are tedious and time-consuming for humans and then scale them up to benefit more people in more places. That's why AI technologies are important to Facebook.
We started heavily focusing on AI in 2013. Since then, we've made breakthroughs that have not only improved our products, like using AI to help protect people from harmful content, but also created partnerships that help the world, like developing faster MRI scans and assisting with disaster relief efforts.
Of course, science and technology make the fastest progress when breakthroughs are shared and results are reproducible. Our approach to AI is rooted in open science, where we work collaboratively with peers across industry and academia. Whether by sharing our work through published papers, releasing open source code, or collaborating with the larger AI community, we enable others in the industry to build off of our results in an effort to — collectively — unlock the full potential of AI.
AI in Action
We centralize our AI tools and platforms so that anyone at Facebook can use AI across any product or service to make an immediate impact, even if the person doesn't have a technical background. For instance, one of our teams used an AI-powered text analysis tool to recognize posts that are focused on charitable giving and offers people the option to add a simple donate button. This resulted in people on Facebook raising over $1 billion for causes they care about. In another instance, we implemented an automated assistant powered by AI to help make it easier to buy and sell items on Marketplace. And we power nearly 6 billion language translations daily.
Although AI underpins many of our products that people use every day, we also heavily invest in long-term AI research that isn’t determined by our product roadmaps. This allows the research teams to work on far-reaching projects that may be five, 10, or 20 years away from benefiting particular applications. Our scientists and engineers are working on some of the most challenging long-term questions, like the possibility of creating systems that have human levels of learning and intelligence. We believe that doing this deep research work now is essential for developing the tools and techniques that will power future applications that bring people together.
AI is the next frontier in computing. We will use this blog to share stories about how this rapidly advancing technology works and how we think about where the field stands today — and where it's headed next.