Facebook recently hosted its annual developer conference (F8) where the company discussed its future plans for the social network and revealed its first 360-degrees camera supposed to work hand-in-hand with 360-degrees Facebook videos and virtual reality headsets. More to the topic at hand, the company also announced that it will be adding a new auto-tagging feature for videos on Facebook, which will rely on machine learning.
As Facebook continues to grow and host an increasing number of photos and videos, the platform is becoming more dependent on AI (artificial intelligence) and it's becoming more obvious that Facebook's latest and upcoming additions rely heavily on machine learning. According to Joaquin Quinonero Candela from Facebook's Applied Machine Learning team, AI is also going to play a role in an upcoming Facebook feature which will allow auto-tagging of videos. The idea is to use machine learning to search for people who might be featured in the video and auto-tag the user(s) accordingly. The feature will also allow Facebook users to click on a person's tag in order to quickly navigate the video's timeline to where the person appears in the frame.
Facebook was not able to reveal a concrete timeframe for when the auto-tagging feature for videos might be released to the public. However, during the conference the company also mentioned that they are working on implementing real-time video classification through AI, allowing the platform to classify videos without relying on tags. Facebook also touched on the new Talking Pictures feature which uses machine learning and what the company calls "image segmentation" in order to describe photos to blind and visually impaired users. The feature was released on iOS earlier this month in a handful of regions, including Australia, Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and New Zealand, and is heading for a launch on the Android platform. Earlier this week, Facebook also announced a new API which can be used by developers to create Facebook Messenger chat bots, similar to the bots that are already available for applications including Kik and Telegram. Other Facebook features mentioned at the developer conference include the so-called Account Kit, wider availability for Facebook Live, and the new Instant Articles feature for publishers.