When people think of artificial intelligence, we often either visualize the cutting edge future of the most important aspects of life, or our inevitable Terminator overlords destroying us all. What we don’t often imagine is how AI could reduce grieving on a social media platform; something Facebook has actually taken into consideration.
It’s a situation that has unfortunately occurred for many people. A Facebook alert reminds you to say happy birthday to a loved one or to invite them to an event; only, that loved one is no longer with us. It’s an unexpected reminder of loss that many people weren’t looking forward to. And the only way to really prevent it is to go and unfriend or block the deceased family member, which is hardly a process that is any more bearable.
Facebook, in an effort to make their platform ever better, is looking towards AI to potentially solve this unfortunate problem. Of course this AI won’t be especially advanced, as its main job will be to keep reminders regarding deceased individuals from showing up for their loved ones until those profiles can be memorialized.
The social network is making some other changes as well, in the vein of preventing unnecessary grief. The timelines of deceased individuals will not be tampered with, so they may be remembered as they were before their passing. Tributes will also be moved to a specialized area so that it will be easier to find and read what the deceased meant to their loved ones.
Another feature will be ‘legacy contacts,’ people that the deceased trusted in life. These legacy contacts will be able to moderate content that is posted to the profiles of the deceased, to help prevent potential abuse. In the past, some individuals would take advantage of some of the security loopholes to pretend that people were dead as pranks, and others would possibly post insulting or demeaning things on the pages of the deceased.
With these new features, horrific behavior such as this will hopefully be mitigated, preventing unnecessary grief for those that have lost loved ones. As for the AI Facebook plans to use, it is an interesting example of unexpected ways in which artificial intelligence may be used in the future. While most of us imagine solely practical applications for AI, it would do well to remember that their utility can branch off in many directions.
Perhaps artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in managing records, or preventing internet spam and scams. We can only guess at the potential applications that aren’t quite so obvious, but still offer a significant improvement in quality of lie. Either way, Facebook’s usage of an AI to reduce the amount of stress and grief people experience on the social platform is an excellent idea, and will both improve Facebook as a whole, and give society some interesting insights onto how artificial intelligence may factor into our lives in the years to come.
Source: Facebook Newsroom