Facebook Is Using Users Instagram Photos To Train Its AI

Facebook Is Using Users Instagram Photos To Train Its AI

Facebook Is Using Users Instagram Photos To Train Its AI

The most popular IMAGE sharing app, Instagram is getting a new and improved look and all for the better.

The company is also adding live translation - for now between English and Spanish, but more languages are set to follow rapidly - as it plugs its M translation bot into messenger, again aiding sellers with interaction with customers in a drive to make the social media site an easy place to buy from. Instagram's not alone in pushing users to post more content - Twitter is reportedly developing a tool that simplifies the video-posting process, for example.

Interestingly, Facebook's AI scientists have found a different use for your hashtags.

Facebook's director of AI and machine learning, Srinivas Narayanan, explains artificial intelligence as it relates to image recognition and categorization.

Facebook director of AI and machine learning Srinivas Narayanan said the company built a scalable system that used 3.5 billion public Instagram photos in thousands of hashtagged categories to improve the machine learning algorithm's ability to categorize images for itself. There is generally some sort of method to why users tag an image with a specific hashtag; the challenge for Facebook was sorting what was relevant across billions of images. What is impressive is how the pre-training processes were used to clear out the noise and make the billions of images more useful in order to be used as training data.

Why manually label images when you already have a source for millions of images labeled with hashtags?

If a person hasn't spent the time to label something specific in an image, even the most advanced computer vision systems won't be able to detect it at runtime because it hasn't seen it in the training set. On one hand, Facebook is only using what amounts to public data (no private accounts), but when a user posts an Instagram photo, how aware are they that they're also contributing to a database that's training deep learning models for a tech mega-corp?

However, the messy and unorganised hashtagging habits of Instagram users did cause them some troubles.

But: This free labor does have drawbacks: some hashtags like #photooftheday or #tbt-short for throwback Thursday-don't describe what's in the image and can confuse the algorithm.

On the other hand, having multiple hashtags on an image also came with a surprising advantage.

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