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The Metaverse Has Already Arrived. Here's What That Actually Means

TIME - Tech

When Cathy Hackl's son wanted to throw a party for his 9th birthday, he didn't ask for favors for his friends or themed decorations. Instead, he asked if they could hold the celebration on Roblox. On the digital platform, which allows users to play and create a multitude of games, Hackl's son and his friends would attend the party as their virtual avatars. "They hung out and played and they went to other different games together," she says. "Just because it happens in a virtual space doesn't make it less real. The futility of throwing an outdoor pandemic-friendly event in January wasn't the only reason Hackl's son lobbied for a digital event. Roblox might be unknown to many over the age of, say, 25, but the 13-year-old platform is booming. Available on most desktop and mobile platforms, it is simultaneously a venue for free games, a creation engine that allows users to generate new activities of their own, and a marketplace to sell those experiences, as well as side products like ...


What's so unique about Meta? Mixing reality with an Alphabet soup

#artificialintelligence

Six years back, when Larry Page announced the launch of Alphabet, he said upfront, "...in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant...Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet..." Alphabet today is "mostly a collection of companies", the largest being Google. Declaring results for the quarter-ended September 30, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said: "Five years ago, I laid out our vision to become an AI-first company. This quarter's results show how our investments there are enabling us to build more helpful products for people and our partners..." When Zuckerberg made his Meta announcement on October 28, he said among other things, "Our mission remains the same -- it's still about bringing people together. We're still the company that designs technology around people..." While Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB)'s corporate structure will not change, the company plans to report on two operating segments -- Family of Apps and Reality Labs -- starting with the fourth quarter results of 2021. However, Zuckerberg, unlike Page, made no reference in his speech to "a cleaner and more accountable" company, despite the numerous legal and privacy tangles that Facebook has been embroiled in, and continues to grapple with, in the US, European Union and other parts of the world.


Facebonk, Bacefook, Hellsite: Zuck, the internet has some suggestions

The Guardian

Facebook is reportedly preparing to unveil a new name as the company seeks to rebrand, and the internet has already come through with some pointed suggestions. The plans, first reported by the Verge on Tuesday, comes at a time of upheaval for the company. In the last few months alone, Facebook has been served with a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, was the subject of a congressional hearing after a whistleblower revealed worrying internal practices at the company, and is facing a walkout of moderators over working conditions. Ideas for how to overhaul its toxic image followed swiftly after the news broke. Reporter Katie Notopoulos at Buzzfeed put forward a number of options: BookFace, MySpace, Facey McBookface, Definitely NOT Facebook, Hellsite, Oops We Facilitated Genocide, and The Good And Nice Company, Not At All Evil.


Facebook: Here comes the AI of the Metaverse

#artificialintelligence

To operate in augmented and virtual reality, Facebook believes artificial intelligence will need to develop an "egocentric perspective." To that end, the company on Thursday announced Ego4D, a data set of 2,792 hours of first-person video, and a set of benchmark tests for neural nets, designed to encourage the development of AI that is savvier about what it's like to move through virtual worlds from a first-person perspective. The project is a collaboration between Facebook Reality Labs and scholars from 13 research institutions, including academic institutions and research labs. The details are laid out in a paper lead-authored by Facebook's Kristen Grauman, "Ego4D: Around the World in 2.8K Hours of Egocentric Video." Grauman is a scientist with the company's Facebook AI Research unit.


Facebook is researching AI systems that see, hear, and remember everything you do

#artificialintelligence

Facebook is pouring a lot of time and money into augmented reality, including building its own AR glasses with Ray-Ban. Right now, these gadgets can only record and share imagery, but what does the company think such devices will be used for in the future? A new research project led by Facebook's AI team suggests the scope of the company's ambitions. It imagines AI systems that are constantly analyzing peoples' lives using first-person video; recording what they see, do, and hear in order to help them with everyday tasks. Facebook's researchers have outlined a series of skills it wants these systems to develop, including "episodic memory" (answering questions like "where did I leave my keys?") and "audio-visual diarization" (remembering who said what when).


Facebook is creating an AI that can view the world and interact with it like a human

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Facebook announced on Thursday that it is creating an artificial intelligence capable of viewing and interacting with the outside world the same way a person can. Known as the Ego4D project, the AI project will take the technology to the next level and have it learn from'videos from the center of action,' the social networking giant said in a blog post. The project is comprised of 13 universities and has collected more than 2,200 hours of first-person video from 700 people. It is going to use video and audio from augmented reality and virtual reality devices like its Ray-Bans sunglasses, which were announced last month, or its Oculus VR headsets. The Ego4D project will let AI learn from'videos from the center of action' 'AI that understands the world from this point of view could unlock a new era of immersive experiences, as devices like augmented reality (AR) glasses and virtual reality (VR) headsets become as useful in everyday life as smartphones,' the company said in the post.


Facebook: Here comes the AI of the Metaverse

ZDNet

To operate in augmented and virtual reality, Facebook believes artificial intelligence will need to develop an "egocentric perspective." To that end, the company on Thursday announced Ego4D, a data set of 2,792 hours of first-person video, and a set of benchmark tests for neural nets, designed to encourage the development of AI that is savvier about what it's like to move through virtual worlds from a first-person perspective. The project is a collaboration between Facebook's Facebook Reality Labs, in conjunction with scholars from thirteen research institutions, including academic institutions and research labs. The details of the work are laid out in a paper lead authored by Facebook's Kristen Grauman, "Ego4D: Around the World in 2.8K Hours of Egocentric Video." Grauman is a research scientist with the company's Facebook AI Research unit.


Top 50 Women in Tech Influencers to Follow 2021 - The Awards Magazine

#artificialintelligence

They are LEADERS with a VISION." The tech business has traditionally been controlled by men, but these amazing female influencers are changing that. Even though there are many excellent women working in this sector, they are frequently underrepresented or overlooked. For this Women Equality Day on August 26, we wanted to highlight and honour all the incredible Women in Tech influencers. We've compiled a list of the top Women in Tech from LinkedIn & Twitter to provide daily inspiration and keep you up to date. People across the world are increasingly turning to social media platforms for exploration, education, and inspiration as we continue to distance ourselves from one another. Even in today's advanced, twenty-first-century environment, statistics about women in technology can be depressing. But there are plenty of female tech influencers to look up to for inspiration. These women have been slowly but steadily challenging the stereotype that the computer business is a male-dominated ...


How Facebook Is Using Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Every day, nearly 2.5 billion people log in to one of the Facebook family of services, which include Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And as users scroll, message, like, and click, Facebook continues to scoop up data, which they package up for advertisers. Behind the scenes, artificial intelligence allows Facebook to make sense of all the messy data it collects about our likes, dislikes, aspirations, and relationships. Facebook's billions of users and vast vault of data make it the perfect sandbox for the company's developers and engineers to experiment, solve problems, and push the boundaries of what AI can do. Here are a few of the ways Facebook is using artificial intelligence to evolve and continue to meet the needs of its ever-expanding user base.


The Future of Enterprise Billing

#artificialintelligence

The connectivity benefits of 5G are expected to make businesses more competitive and give consumers access to more information faster than ever before. Connected cars, smart communities, industrial IoT, healthcare, immersive education--they all will rely on unprecedented opportunities that 5G technology will create. The enterprise market opportunity is driving many telecoms operators' strategies for, and investments in, 5G. Companies are accelerating investment in core and emerging technologies such as cloud, internet of things, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning. IoT (Internet of Things), as an example, improving connectivity and data sharing between devices, enabling biometric based transactions; with blockchain, enabling use cases, trade transactions, remittances, payments and investments; and with deep learning and artificial intelligence, utilization of advanced algorithms for high personalization.