Facebook has introduced DeepText AI, a text understanding engine to help filter out content like spam as well as to seamlessly integrate various services straight into the platform. The company claims its technology can process several thousand posts per second in 20 different languages.
Facebook cites examples like users writing a post that says, “I would like to sell my old bike for $200, anyone interested?”, which DeepText will detect as selling something, extract information like the object being sold and its price, and prompt the seller to use tools to make these transactions easier. Other examples include saying something like “I need a ride” on Messenger, which prompts the platform to provide an option for booking a ride using available cab aggregators.
— June Bug (@thejunebug) March 14, 2016
As of now, the feature is available on Messenger and Facebook itself to some users, although the company provides no timeline on a full rollout. Note that the feature essentially reads posts to deliver relevant context, even in chats, which is certain to raise a few eyebrows on how Facebook treats privacy.
Other developments: Facebook has been focussing on keeping users on its own platform by integrating other services, and making Facebook a central location for accessing the Internet in general. Such initiatives include:
– Last month, Facebook made changes to its Trending Topics algorithm to not supplement it with lists of external websites and news outlets to assess the importance of particular topics.
– In April, Facebook rolled out a Hindi transliteration tool on its Android app to let users make posts in Hindi using an English keyboard.
– The same month, Facebook updated the News Feed users see stories they actually read, rather than stories they just like, click, comment on, or share.
– In the same month, the company also started letting users make group audio calls with upto 50 people using Messenger. Messenger also opened up to allow the development of bots on the platform the same month.
– In February this year, Facebook made Instant Articles available for all publishers, regardless of their size and location.