Facebook Knows When You Are Drunk

File this news from Facebook under useful, creepy, or perhaps a little bit of both. Yann LeCun, who leads the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab, is working on technology that detects if you’ll regret the photo you’re about to upload and post to your timeline. And by regret we mean regret it in the morning because you’ve been taking drunken selfies:

Let’s say you’re out drinking with your buddies, things get out of hand, you pull out your smartphone, you take a selfie in the middle of all this drunken revelry, then you take 30 or 40 more, and, without hesitation, you start uploading them to Facebook.

It’s a common thing to do. But Yann LeCun aims to stop such unbridled behavior—or at least warn people when they’re about to do something they might regret. He wants to build a kind of Facebook digital assistant that will, say, recognize when you’re uploading an embarrassingly candid photo of your late-night antics. In a virtual way, he explains, this assistant would tap you on the shoulder and say: “Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?”

So how does this work? It’s a form of AI called Deep Learning, which Facebook already uses to identify your face in photos:

Fashioning such a tool is largely about building image recognition technology that can distinguish between your drunken self and your sober self, and using a red-hot form of artificial intelligence called “deep learning”—a technology bootstrapped by LeCun and other academics—Facebook has already reached a point where it can identify your face and your friends’ faces in the photos you post to its social network, letting you more easily tag them with the right names.

We can’t imagine that this is just about identifying drunken selfies, though we guess you’ve got to start somewhere. It’s interesting to think about where Facebook might be headed with these AI efforts. Ten years ago Facebook was a simple social network for college students; now they’re working on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (via Oculus Rift). If you’re interested, you should head over to Wired to learn more about Facebook’s AI efforts.

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