Facebook Outage shows how its AI tags pictures

Written by Amit pankaj
on July 4, 2019

Facebook’s July 3rd outage that also effected Instagram was apparently caused by Facebook themselves. A tweet last night from the Facebook Business account reveals:

“During one of our routine maintenance operations, we triggered an issue that is making it difficult for some people to upload or send photos and videos. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

As this seems to be occurring more and more with Facebook, what is interesting is that we get to see how our images on the site are replaced with tags that have been assigned by Facebooks machine vision system.

This is your life seen by a computer, both on Facebook and Instagram. Detailing the general scene, object descriptions as well as who is in the photo based on Facebook’s own facial recognition. All part of Facebook’s accessibility efforts to help describe photos and videos to user with sight impairments.

What is unclear at this time is if Facebook uses the information to target ads. There is a lot of information that is extracted routinely from your images, and a lot of users are unaware of this type of data extraction occurring. Only when technology breaks down do we realize what is happening behind the scenes.

Thank-you to Firstpost and the Verge for this information and/or images.

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