Sharing AI technology aimed at spurring faster development
Facebook seeking to benefit from sharing AI information
Facebook Inc.'s researchers have created some nifty tools, such as artificial-intelligence software that can recognize objects in digital pictures, or a program that lets people craft three-dimensional images in a virtual environment. Their next step: give the technology away.
"Research and science needs to be done as much as possible in the open," Chief Technology Officer Michael Schroepfer said. Instead of selling the software, publishing it "makes everyone else move faster. It also helps us validate our work."
The social network is opening up more of its AI research, seeking to exchange information with other developers so that it can find new insights that could help improve its own products and services. That's completely opposite from the approach that Apple Inc. has taken; the iPhone maker also works on AI technologies but keeps much of its activity under wraps. Essentially, Facebook is betting that sharing a technology will help everyone benefit faster than going it alone. Facebook also doesn't have much of a choice -- it doesn't control a mobile operating system or a telecommunications network, so it needs to work with other companies to move technology along.