No one needs to fear Facebook M for a good while

December 2, 2015

I’m intrigued by Facebook M — the artificial intelligence human oversight product that will eventually be part of, or become, Facebook’s Messenger application. There are a lot of positive words being written about the program but M is not likely to be real AI for some time. Most confuse machine learning for artificial intelligence.

Machine learning counts as AI, but not all AI counts as machine learning. Machine learning is a subset of the artificial intelligence field. To put it another way, AI is the Hollywood stereotype of HAL from film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Machine learning, on the other hand, is found in areas like fraud detection — where observing patterns and applying rules is key to things improving or learning. Hollywood’s notion of AI leads people to believe the field’s a lot further along.

Many researchers paint a much rosier picture and certainly visionary futurist Ray Kurzweil says we should be ready to have our brains up into the cloud around 2040.