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Facebook uses AI to map global population density

ANI
Published Apr 10, 2019, 10:36 am IST
Updated Apr 10, 2019, 10:36 am IST
Facebook’s ongoing project aims to map the world’s population density using AI.
Facebook says its new machine learning systems are enhanced and more accurate than those announced in 2016. (Photo: ANI)
 Facebook says its new machine learning systems are enhanced and more accurate than those announced in 2016. (Photo: ANI)

Artificial intelligence may be threatening to some industries but Facebook is putting it to some positive use in its latest project of mapping the world.

Facebook’s ongoing project aims to map the world’s population density using AI. The project that started in 2016 has today expanded to include newer regions, covering the majority of Africa. The company’s goal is to eventually map the whole world’s population, The Verge reports.

 

Creating a population density map is an arduous task for humans who have to label each building in the satellite images, then cross-reference this with census data. However, this kind of tasks is what AIs are built for. Using automation, it is easier to recognise and label buildings in a given area and identify the population.

Facebook says its new machine learning systems are enhanced and more accurate than those announced in 2016. The company plans to use the results of the ongoing project for humanitarian applications.

In the coming months, Facebook will release its population density maps free of charge for anyone to use. The maps will help in disaster relief and vaccination schemes as help teams with limited resources can target areas where they can be most effective.

On the other hand, the maps could also benefit Facebook’s commercial interests for bringing more people on the internet (its own service), or in ad targeting.

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