Drones, lasers, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and internet connectivity in the most remote island in the world ? Facebook?s Mark Zuckerberg is getting ahead of his time when it comes to his plans for the world?s most powerful social media outlet. But amidst all these, one of the world?s youngest CEOs still has time to work out three times a week. Just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Zuck shared his thoughts in an impromptu online Town Hall, which happened less than 24-hours ago via Mark?s FB account, and thousands of people tuned in including the former California Governor, Stephen Hawking, and Arianna Huffington.
The Facebook of the future
Mark was very vocal about his future plans for his social media empire, sharing that his team has been religiously working on futuristic concepts in his AI lab.
His plans ranged mostly about understanding human behavior, on why people post what they post, and learning what to show in a user?s timeline based on it. Their studies are geared towards helping people see more of the news that they are interested in, and getting those information without the current 10-second lag.
As we have probably encountered, Facebook is slowly introducing this service. Last week, Facebook made it possible to search for topics and copy the links without having to leave the FB page ? slowly introducing a search engine feature that could very well compete with Google.
They also introduced Instant Articles, a new tool where stories from publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian and National Geographic can instantly publish their stories on Facebook.
Facebook?s artificial intelligence lab has recently discovered an algorithm that allows facial recognition among users whose faces are hidden. According to Mark, a function like this will someday make sure that people will be updated of photos and videos where their face is included.
For listening and language, ?we’re focusing on translating speech to text, text between any languages, and also being able to answer any natural language question you ask,? he said.
Facebook in virtual reality? Not far behind according to Zuckerberg.
Internet for everyone
During the Town Hall, Mark once more showed that he is passionate about bringing Facebook to everyone, or the internet to be more specific. according to Zuckerberg, ?this work is very important because internet connectivity brings jobs, education, health and communication. Research has shown that for every 10 people connected, we can raise roughly one person out of poverty. So through this work we can potentially raise hundreds of millions of people out of poverty around the world. A more connected world is a better world!?
Mark?s team of course, aims to do this via their game changing Internet.org. Through the program, they work alongside internet providers and encourage them to deliver free basic internet around the world. This concept is already working in some parts of the globe already where Telecom providers allow people to check on their FB accounts for free. And with features like Instant Articles, most of the users have access to relevant news and information without having to go out of Facebook?s interface.
The next phase of their plans sounds like a scene from a sci-fi movie: The use of drones, satellites and lasers to provide internet.
?We’re working on new technologies that can extend internet connectivity even further. The main three things we’re working on are drones, satellites and lasers. The idea is that in the future, we’ll be able to beam down internet access from a plane flying overhead or a satellite flying way overhead — and they’ll communicate down to earth using very accurate lasers to transfer data. We’ve already talked about some of our efforts in these areas, and we’ll have even more to share soon.?
What matters most
Zuckerberg?s confidence of having free internet access for everyone is so palpable that when someone asked him what are the three things he would bring if he gets stranded on an island he answered, ?I’ll bring my wife, my dog and my phone,? because he?s sure there?s going to be Wifi on the island.
Interestingly, the Town Hall also showed users a more clearer picture of ?private Mark.? The FB CEO shared that he is ?most interested in questions about people. What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how we can empower humans to learn a million times more?? when posed a rather philosophical question by renowned Physicist Stephen Hawking.
This is probably why Mark set himself a $1 salary for all his work in Facebook, although arguably, he is rich whether or not he delivers in on his plans.
But for all of Mark?s confidence in artificial intelligence, here is his message to the Terminator himself — ?No. The Machines won?t win.?