Facebook’s Artificial-Intelligence Software Gets a Dash More Common Sense

Facebook software has learned to accurately predict whether precariously balanced virtual blocks will fall down. Will this block of virtual blocks fall over? Facebook has trained up software that knows the answer. Artificial-intelligence researchers at the company took on the project in an effort to explore how computers might learn some basic physical common sense. Understanding that, for example, unsupported objects fall, or that a larger object won’t fit inside a smaller one, is central to the way we humans predict, explain, and communicate about the world. If machines are to be more useful, they’ll need the same kind of common-sense understanding, says Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer. “We’ve got to teach computer systems to understand the world in a similar way,” he said, at a preview last week…


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