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The error of failing to load images yesterday shows how Facebook AI classifies your photos

The error of failing to load images yesterday shows how Facebook AI classifies your photos

. 2 min read

Only from a small incident, we have seen what is behind the world’s largest social network, and also collected the most user data in the world.

The incident of Facebook

Yesterday, Facebook encountered a problem that caused the entire images not to be displayed. However, this problem also reveals how Facebook AI is performing to classify photos of all users. These are tags that are assigned to what is displayed in the image, which AI can identify.

Instead of seeing the images of a party, friends check-in somewhere else, or the clothes of a mother-in-law selling online. You will see words that specifically describe “Image may contain” people are laughing, people are dancing, beach, house, or simply a cat.

The incident of Facebook revealed how Facebook's AI identifies and classifies photos.
The incident of Facebook revealed how Facebook’s AI identifies and classifies photos.

In other words, this is what the computer sees from the photos we post to Facebook. Like Neo in the Matrix see images in the digital world, which are essentially blue lines of code.

The same thing happened to Instagram yesterday when trouble photos could not be displayed. In addition, AI can identify whose faces are in the photo. It was based on Facebook’s face recognition technology that has been applied since 2017.

AI can identify exactly who in the photo.
AI can identify exactly who in the photo.

The purpose of Facebook

Letting AI identify the photos of users is not simply to classify, but Facebook can completely use it to serve the purpose of advertising. This is the goal of making money for the social network.

There is a lot of information that users do not disclose to Facebook, but are fully expressed through the images they share. For example, if you have pets or not, what kind of sport do you play, do you have a hobby, or where do you travel?

However, sometimes AI also has confusion, it fails to distinguish the picture behind and the real person.
However, sometimes AI also has confusion; it fails to distinguish the picture behind and the real person.

Only from a small incident, we have seen what is behind the world’s largest social network, and also collected the most user data in the world. It also shows us how artificial intelligence has evolved when it is possible to identify exactly what is in a photo.