Behind the scenes, AI helps make Facebook smarter and easier to use. We use it to help translate text so people can understand each other better, to recognize what’s in images so visually impaired people can “see” the photos their friends post, and to filter out undesirable content like spam. We also use AI to understand the intent behind what people post so we can improve their experience on Facebook. When I started as a designer at Facebook, I hadn’t thought much about AI or how it could be used as a tool in product design. But then I ended up designing Facebook Recommendations, which uses AI to detect when people are asking for local recommendations, and then to match the places that their friends recommend to Facebook Pages. It’s one way we help connect people and local businesses.
Melbourne was the final stop on this year’s Salesforce Basecamp tour, and the final keynote of the event was given by Shaun Paga from Soul Machines, a New Zealand company specialising in building what they call “Artificial Humans”. These are digital avatars with very detailed faces that respond to the emotional cues of the person they’re talking to.