Everybody is aware of the bit in The Matrix when Neo suddenly watches “reality” after getting digital messiah status for what it actually is: trailing lines of green code.
Well, due to an outage presently impacting Facebook, consumers of the social media have been offered a similar glance behind the digital world, with many pictures on the website now restored with the tags they have been assigned by the firm’s machine vision systems.
So if you browse via your uploaded images, rather than seeing pictures of friends and food or holiday snaps, you will be shown text stating things such as “image may contain: dog” or “image may contain: people dancing, people smiling, indoor, and wedding.”
Briefly: this is how your life seems to a PC. This is how AI at Facebook is judging you. The same picture tags are being displayed on Instagram, and as well as detailing object descriptions and general scene, they also recommend who is in a pic on the basis of facial recognition of Facebook. (The firm has been doing this for images you are not tagged in since 2017.)
Facebook has been employing ML to “read” pictures in this manner since April 2016, and the project is a big fraction of the firm’s accessibility efforts. Such tags are employed to define videos and photos to consumers with sight impairments.
What is not clear is if Facebook also employs this data to target ads. There is a lot of info about consumer’s lives that they may otherwise defend from Facebook contained in these pictures.
On a related note, Facebook earlier issues loading videos, images, and other data all over its apps this week, leaving some users unable to view stories on Instagram, load pictures in the Facebook News Feed, or send texts in WhatsApp.