Facebook is designing its own chips to help analyze live video.
The hope is that the chips can make the process of filtering real-time footage more energy efficient and not so costly, according to Bloomberg.
Current methods require ‘a huge amount of compute power’ to monitor every video, said Yann LeCun, Facebook’s chief artificial intelligence scientist.
Facebook is designing its own chips to help analyze live video. The hope is that the chips can make the process of filtering real-time footage more energy efficient and not so costly
‘Let’s imagine someone users Facebook Live to film their own suicide or murder,’ LeCun said at the Viva Technology industry conference in Paris, according to Bloomberg.
‘You’d like to be able to take down that kind of content as it happens’.
Facebook has been ramping up its AI efforts so it can better detect users who may show suicidal tendencies.
The software scans for certain phrases that could be clues, such as the questions ‘Are you ok?’ and ‘Can I help?’
That’s after reports surfaced that users were broadcasting violent acts, such as suicides and murders, on Facebook Live.
Creating their own chips would allow Facebook to spot this kind of content faster and more efficiently.
Facebook has ramped up its AI efforts so it can better detect users who may be suicidal. Now, Yann LeCun (pictured), Facebook’s chief AI scientist hopes chips can help with that
It had been rumored for several months that Facebook was working on its own chips. A job posting surfaced last month looking for a manager to lead firmware/driver development
LeCun said the chips wouldn’t be ‘completely new for Facebook,’ as it has ventured into hardware previously.
Firms like Intel, Samsung and Nvidia have long dominated the space of AI chips.
But with the rise of technologies like speech recognition, augmented reality and virtual reality, more and more companies are making the leap into hardware.
‘Facebook has worked on hardware before: it makes its own server design, motherboards, its own communications chips for data centers,’ LeCun said.
It had been rumored for several months that Facebook was working on its own chips.
Bloomberg reported last month that the firm was building chips that could be used in its Oculus Go headset or a pair of smart home speakers.
A job posting on Facebook’s corporate website seeks to hire a manager to head an ‘end-to-end SoC/ASIC firmware and driver development organization’.
SoCs integrate all components of a computer on a single circuit. They’re commonly used in smartphones.
Bloomberg reported in April that the chips could be used in its Oculus Go or smart speakers. Facebook released its new standalone Oculus Go VR headset last month at its F8 conference
WHAT IS FACEBOOK PORTAL?
Facebook is reportedly creating a pair of smart speakers – the ‘more sophisticated’ of which, nicknamed Aloha, will eventually be known as Facebook Portal.
The device will feature a wide-angle camera, microphone, and speakers boosted by artificial intelligence, and it will be geared for communal use in the living room.
A version in testing would enable the camera to automatically scan for faces in the room and link them to their Facebook accounts.
Like Amazon’s screen-equipped Echo Show, the device will be controlled by voice-command and designed for indoor use.
In response to the Cheddar rumours, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Vice Preident of augmented and virtual reality, wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t comment on speculation but can confirm it’s going to be an exciting year for AR/VR. #F8’
Facebook intends to let Portal access third-party streaming services like Spotify and Netflix, the report claims.
While Facebook itself has not confirmed any rumours, Andrew Bosworth, the company’s Vice President of augmented and virtual reality, wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t comment on speculation but can confirm it’s going to be an exciting year for AR/VR. #F8’.
The comment suggests Facebook could announce Portal in May at the company’s F8 developer conference.
ASICs chips are processors that are used for a specific application, such as bitcoin mining.
The job posting states that the firm is looking for ‘expertise to build custom solutions targeted at multiple verticals including artificial intelligence/machine learning’.
By producing its own chips, Facebook can also better integrate them in various hardware products.
A smart home speaker requires artificial intelligence in order to process requests or detect and recognize faces.
Last month, reports surfaced that Facebook was designing two Facebook-branded smart speakers, codenamed Fiona and Aloha, which would eventually be renamed to Portal.
Both would have touchscreens and advanced features like facial recognition.