Technology

Facebook Inc will allow social network’s video as well as Messenger messaging app

Facebook Inc will allow anyone to freely download and use the same artificial intelligence tools it used to make key improvements to the social network’s video and notification features as well as its Messenger messaging app.

The software, which Facebook calls Horizon, will be available on the code repository GitHub starting today, the company said in a blog post Thursday. GitHub is owned by Microsoft Corp.

Facebook used this set of tools internally to optimize how 360-degree videos are displayed on the social network, taking into account such factors as the available bandwidth and how much of the video has already been buffered.

The same tools, according to the blog post, were also used to improve what content to push to users through notifications. And it was used to hone the suggestions that its intelligence assistant, which is called M, makes to users of its Messenger app as reported by Bloomberg.

The Horizon software is focused on reinforcement learning, in which software improves itself by trial-and-error from experience to maximize some reward or minimize some loss, rather than from labelled data sets.

Reinforcement learning underlies a number of breakthroughs in AI — most notably the algorithm that beat the world’s top human players at the strategy game Go as well as the ones that are now competitive with humans in complex multiplayer computer games such as Dota 2.

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