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Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and Social Media

Every day we are getting closer to I, Robot reality. Artificial Intelligence is no longer some distant science-fiction dream. From robotic vacuum cleaners to driver-less cars, robots are fast becoming commonplace.

Nowadays we can talk to our phones and computers, issuing commands and requesting suggestions based on our interests. The reason all of this is possible is due to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today AI even becomes an integral part of our social media use. While Siri, Cortana and Android Voice all recognise and respond to voice commands, AI programs grasp the deeper meaning of actions to provide more accurate and intelligent results.

Many social networking sites have acquired smaller AI businesses to increase their functionality and appeal to users. For example, LinkedIn invested in Bright, a company which enables the site to offer better candidate matches for both employers and job seekers. It takes into account the user’s hiring patterns, work experience and similarities in job descriptions.

AI is effective at analysing a large amount of data due to its ability to ingest and decipher data to recognize patterns, predict hashtags and trending topics. Facebook refers to this as ‘deep learning’. With over 800 million users logging on and generating massive amounts of unstructured data every day, deep learning technology allows the website to provide a more personalised experience for the user. Facebook continues to develop programs that can make it easier for users to discover others users, pages and content that’ll be of interest to them.

Facebook Leading the Pack?

Facebook recently launched a new research lab dedicated to AI research and development. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the “goal is to build AI systems that are better than humans at our primary senses: vision, listening, etc” (via Tech Crunch). At the moment humour and sarcasm are difficult for computers to understand or recognise, which is why Facebook introduced the ‘emotions’ option in status posting. This in turn is slowly teaching AI how to understand more nuanced emotions like your sarcastic rants about Starbucks red cups…  Facebook may soon understand you just as well as, or even better than, your closest friends.

Facebook isn’t the only online media service jumping on the AI bandwagon. Google recently acquired DeepMind, which focuses on simulating neural networks, i.e. the brain, to analyse and deduce patterns to achieve objectives. Like a brain figures out equations or problems.

All of these advancements make it easier to process the World Wide Web’s endless amount of data which has in turn increased the accuracy of social media and online marketing. So, from the perspective of online media services such as Google and Facebook, having AI programs that understand our personal interests and feelings should help improve our online experience, as well as our enjoyment with technology over all.

Guest Blogger Bio

Expert’s Guest Blogger James’ Hunter is an editor at ThePCDoctor.com.au. A fan of all things tech-related James’ writes reviews of the latest smartphones, apps and other topical IT pieces.

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