Facebook can map more of Earth in a week than we have in history

Building mega-maps Reuters/Albert Gea We just learned that Facebook’s artificial-intelligence software can probably map more in a week than humanity has mapped over our entire history. In a blog post, the social network announced that its AI system took two weeks to build a map that covers 4 per cent of our planet. That’s 14 per cent of Earth’s land surface, with 21.6 million square kilometres of photographs taken from space, digested and traced into a digital representation of the roads, buildings and settlements they show. And Facebook says it can do it better and faster, potentially mapping the entire Earth in less than a week. This is the starkest example I’ve seen so far of the most important phenomenon in technology – computers doing human work really fast. It’s…


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