Facebook’s making great strides with robots – here’s why that matters
Social media giant Facebook has robots. And they’re getting really smart, really quick. But given that Facebook doesn’t actually sell robots, or use them, or have any plans to do either of those things, should you, as an investor, be particularly interested?
The answer is yes. Because the kind of advancements Facebook is making when it comes to teaching robots how to do things are the same kind of advancements that it will use to teach artificial intelligence (AI) on its digital platform how to do things like spot hate speech and fake news. Guess what: if it gets good at those things, ad space becomes an easy sell and it has to pay fewer employees and external agencies to clean up its newsfeed.
Facebook’s share price has appreciated by almost 40% year to date
Source: Yahoo Finance
On Monday, Facebook announced via blog post that its engineers have been collaborating with New York University computer scientists to reduce the amount of time it takes for robotic arms to grasp objects. Facebook’s disembodied limbs can pick this skill up with just tens of attempts – rather than the hundreds or even thousands that are standard in the industry. Fascinating, right? Actually, it is.
Speeding up machine learning capabilities by a factor of somewhere between ten and a hundred has wide-reaching ramifications for Facebook’s work with AI. And founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret that a large part of the company’s future is dependent on developing strong AI.
But all that geeky stuff aside – would the company ever consider actually selling robots to the public? Never say never – and if it does, it will need the expertise it’s building now to be competitive. The company’s chief AI scientist, Yan LeCun, said that if robots ever became popular consumer goods “you’ve got to start early. It’s not just something you can jump into when it picks up.” So, who knows – maybe one day Facebook will have a presence in the home as well as the phone.
Dominion holds Facebook in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
If you would you like to receive the Newsfeeds daily, please click here to sign up now!Help us make this Newsfeed better by rating this article. 1 star = Poor and 5 stars = Excellent
- Click here to print this story: Print
The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.