Inside Facebook's robotics lab where it teaches six-legged bots to walk and makes its AI smarter

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Facebook isn't often thought of as a robotics company, but new work being done in the social media giant's skunkworks AI lab is trying to prove otherwise. The company on Monday gave a detailed look into some of the projects being undertaken by its AI researchers at its Menlo Park, California-based headquarters, many of which are aimed at making robots smarter. Among the machines being developed are walking hexapods that resemble a spider, a robotic arm and a human-like hand complete with sensors to help it touch. Facebook has a dedicated team of AI researchers at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California that are tasked with testing out robots. The hope is that their learnings can be applied to other AI software in the company and make those systems smarter.


This is how the robot uprising finally begins

MIT Technology Review

The robot arm is performing a peculiar kind of Sisyphean task. It hovers over a glistening pile of cooked chicken parts, dips down, and retrieves a single piece. A moment later, it swings around and places the chunk of chicken, ever so gently, into a bento box moving along a conveyor belt. This robot, created by a San Francisco–based company called Osaro, is smarter than any you've seen before. The software that controls it has taught it to pick and place chicken in about five seconds--faster than your average food-processing worker.


Facebook, boosting artificial-intelligence research, says it's 'not going fast enough'

#artificialintelligence

Facebook will dramatically accelerate its research into artificial intelligence, its chief AI scientist said Tuesday, in hopes of ensuring the social network doesn't fall behind with the technology it will need to contend with Internet rivals and police its gargantuan audience. The world's biggest social network said it would recruit high-profile engineers and expand its AI-research division to roughly 170 scientists and engineers across eight global offices, including Paris, Pittsburgh, Montreal, London and Tel Aviv. The expansion of the international labs and new academic partnerships will be devoted to the study of robotics, virtual animation, learning machines and other forms of AI. Yann LeCun, Facebook's chief AI scientist and an early machine-learning architect, said the expanded research effort was pushed by Facebook leaders such as CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "AI has become so central to the operations of companies like ours, that what our leadership has been telling us is: 'Go faster.


Facebook, boosting artificial-intelligence research, says it's 'not going fast enough'

Washington Post - Technology News

Facebook will dramatically accelerate its research into artificial intelligence, its chief AI scientist said Tuesday, in hopes of ensuring the social network doesn't fall behind with the technology it will need to contend with Internet rivals and police its gargantuan audience. The world's biggest social network said it would recruit high-profile engineers and expand its AI-research division to roughly 170 scientists and engineers across eight global offices, including Paris, Pittsburgh, Montreal, London and Tel Aviv. The expansion of the international labs and new academic partnerships will be devoted to the study of robotics, virtual animation, learning machines and other forms of AI. Yann LeCun, Facebook's chief AI scientist and an early machine-learning architect, said the expanded research effort was pushed by Facebook leaders such as CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "AI has become so central to the operations of companies like ours, that what our leadership has been telling us is: 'Go faster.


Facebook on robotics hiring blitz as it looks to the future of AI

The Japan Times

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook announced several new hires of top academics in the field of artificial intelligence Tuesday, among them a roboticist known for her work at Disney making animated figures move in more human-like ways. The hires raise a big question -- why is Facebook interested in robots, anyway? It's not as though the social media giant is suddenly interested in developing mechanical friends, although it does use robotic arms in some of its data centers. The answer is even more central to the problem of how AI systems work today. Today, most successful AI systems have to be exposed to millions of data points labeled by humans -- like, say, photos of cats -- before they can learn to recognize patterns that people take for granted.