Facebook is amping up its privacy policies in more ways than one. This week, in an interview with Wired, the head of Facebook’s artificial intelligence research lab said that he is looking to “build a kind of Facebook digital assistant that will recognize when you’re uploading an embarrassingly candid photo of your late-night antics… and [would ask] ‘Are you sure you want your boss and mother to see this?’”.
The image recognition would distinguish your drunk photos, and your sober ones. Currently, Facebook already has image recognition technology that helps users easily identify faces and tags them accordingly. In the future, Yann LeCun hopes that the digital assistant will help identify when someone else has uploaded a photo that includes a user without their permission.
LeCun is “using a red-hot form of artificial intelligence called ‘deep learning’ - a technology bootstrapped by LeCun and other academics”. The Facebook lab, known as FAIR, examines overall behavior in an attempt to push the content tailored to you on your newsfeed, content that you are likely to click on, and soon Facebook will even suggest your hashtags. He wants everyone “imagine that you had an intelligent digital assistant which would mediate your interaction with your friends and also with content on Facebook.”
This approach is widely controversial. This summer Facebook received criticism when it came to light that artificial intelligence was being used to manipulate users’ behaviors. Many critics are worried about a page completely manipulated for commercial purposes. LeCun insists however, that such mediation will help control your online identity, not give you less.