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Facebook will let people send thoughts directly to friends, and AI will know exactly what they want to read, Mark Zuckerberg says

Published 01/07/2015

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also addressed virtual reality and his exercise routine during a question session
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also addressed virtual reality and his exercise routine during a question session

Facebook is working to let people communicate using technology that lets them share their thoughts, rather than having to communicate through text or pictures, Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Asked what is “going on with Facebook in the future” during one of his regular question and answer sessions on the site, Zuckerberg laid out his plans for telepathic communication built on virtual reality.

“One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology,” he wrote. “You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like.”

That will be the end result of a process that will see people first share more video, then communicate through immersive experiences like virtual reality, which would make way for technology that gave us “power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we'd like”, Zuckerberg said.

Asked about his vision for Oculus, the virtual reality company, Zuckerberg said that its mission was “to give people the power to experience anything”.

“Even if you don't have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do,” he wrote.

“This will be incredibly powerful as a communication medium as well. Just like we capture photos and videos today and then share them on the internet to let others experience them too, we'll be able to capture whole 3D scenes and create new environments and then share those with people as well.

“It will be pretty wild.”

He also said that artificial intelligence will let Facebook learn exactly what posts people are wanting to read — before they know themselves. "Most of our AI research is focused on understanding the meaning of what people share," he wrote.

"For example, if you take a photo that has a friend in it, then we should make sure that friend sees it. If you take a photo of a dog or write a post about politics, we should understand that so we can show that post and help you connect to people who like dogs and politics."

The Q&As regularly see questions from celebrities, and this time people including Stephen Hawking and Arianna Huffington asked questions.

Arnold Schwarzenegger asked Zuckerberg about how he finds time to train and what his fitness regime looks like — as well as whether the machines will win. Zuckerberg said that he works out three times a week and takes his dog running, “and no, the machines don’t win”.

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