HomeNews FeedFacebook service outage reveals how AI tags photos

    Facebook service outage reveals how AI tags photos


    Reading Time: 2 minutes read

    A few hours ago, Facebook faces service outage worldwide. However, this round the outage was not directly on its complete service, but it affects the photos in the Facebook company applications such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The user was able to view the post but not photos. Even in WhatsApp user were able to send messages but not able to view photos. TheVerge calls this as Facebook Image Outage.

    Many of you might have noticed all your images on Facebook vanishes in the air. Despite that, you could see some text on the image box rather than the whole image. During the downtime of Facebook, we have finally know how Facebook tags your photos using its artificial intelligence (AI).

    You can view the tags the AI assigns to your photos by browsing through your uploaded photos tab. As shown in the image below, you should see a text says “image may contain: sky, outdoor”. Basically, Facebook uses its AI to identify the type of an image by using its own deep learning algorithm. This is how sometimes when you browse through your news feed, you probably could have seen a blurred image saying “Image contains sensitive content”. This is because Facebook has its own category of tagging photos.

    Other than Facebook, even in Instagram also images are shown as text. It even says who is in the photo based on the Facebook facial recognition algorithm. Isn’t it scary?. One of the main reason Facebook is using deep learning to categories photos to help the people who visually impaired to describe the photos. This has been started since April 2016 itself.

    In conclusion, AI is everywhere now. You can’t escape from AI. This technology has revolutionized the world of machine vision. But you have to understand one thing from yesterday’s service outage. None of your pieces of information are safe. Everything is vulnerable.

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    Raaj Lokanathan
    A software engineer as a profession. A tech blogger as a passion.

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