How Facebook’s ‘machine learning’ creates highly-detailed population maps

Artificially-intelligent machine learning technologies that allow computers to “learn” to recognize patterns and make judgments have been used to translate languages, recognize objects in photos, and filter email.Now, Facebook is using its own expertise in computer vision — the image-analysis technology that powers the social network’s photo tagging features — to create detailed maps of where people live and how factors such as population density impact their ability to connect to the Internet.So far, the effort has yielded maps of 20 countries, particularly focusing on identifying buildings and other man-made structures in rural and remote areas.The highly-detailed maps could also be used for other purposes, such as improving responses to natural disasters, the company said in a blog post announcing the effort on Monday. The effort is part of Facebook’s…


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