“You hear all the platitudes about Facebook connecting the planet, but to say they are doing it for benevolent reasons is absolute nonsense. It’s about connecting commerce, not people,” says venture capitalist and former journalist Om Malik, who reminds us of the hidden agenda of social networking firms: if you’re not paying, you’re the product.

Source: How Facebook plans to take over the world | Technology | The Guardian

I know, I know, I know… Another anti-facebook post but I couldn’t resist. Most of your major publications have an email digest and this is where I picked up this little article. I also get a lot from my RSS feeds. If you are looking for unfiltered content, Email and RSS Feeds are the best way to go.

Go read the article. Here are some of the more interesting quotes:

Facebook’s latest move is “instant articles”, which allow publishers to show smartphone users a fast-loading view of entire articles without ever having to leave the social networking app. It’s good for the reader, but the creator of the content loses the traffic to its own website and control of how it’s presented. Publishers can try to sell advertising on instant articles themselves or let Facebook do it for them – for a fee, of course.

The company is slowly removing the reasons for leaving its site – whether it’s to book a taxi, watch video content, make phone calls, pay for things or read news articles. And the Facebook experience is sanitised, shielding users from the big bad internet with strict rules about what content it deems appropriate.

Facebook already uses artificial intelligence to personalise your newsfeed, identify you in photos and translate your posts. The company has built technology that can recognise objects – even different dog breeds – in photos and videos.

“We need a computational understanding of Sapir’s code,” Sheikh says. In other words, Facebook wants to be able to read our intentions and emotions. It’s not hard to imagine how this could be exploited in areas beyond VR. Chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer says an augmented reality device – perhaps smart glasses or earbuds – could give you “additional information” about someone while you were having a conversation with them, without them consciously offering it up.

“There remains, however, a thorn in Facebook’s side: Snapchat.”

“Time for me to start using my snapchat account.” 

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