Tech Transformers

Facebook’s new photo app uses artificial intelligence


Fed up of going to an event like a wedding – where everyone's taking and uploading pictures – and never seeing half the photos?

Well Facebook thinks it has a solution, in the form of a standalone app that uses artificial intelligence.

Called Moments, the social media giant's latest product uses facial recognition technology to identify which friends are in a photo. You can then share the pictures with the friends in shot, and they can choose to share their photos with you.

"By building a system that learned to recognize people and objects in images, we could enable this new service," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post on Monday.

"In the years ahead, artificial intelligence and image recognition have the chance to make the Internet far more useful for everyone."

Several U.S. technology giants have been working to improve the capabilities of their artificial intelligence systems.

At its developers conference earlier this month, Apple showed off an improved version of its voice-activated search service, Siri, which can suggest apps for you to open based on the time of day and your habits. Google Now is the search giant's own system on Android phones, while Microsoft has been making a big push with its own digital "personal assistant," Cortana.

The Moments app uses the same facial recognition technology that powers the photo tagging suggestions on Facebook. It is now available in the U.S. on iOS and Android and will be rolled out to more countries "over time." But the app could signal potential further forays into artificial intelligence by Facebook.

"With artificial intelligence, we have a chance to build a new generation of apps and services that are more natural, intuitive, and valuable," Zuckerberg said.