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Facebook built a able AI model to simulate entire social media networks in action

When it comes to live-fire high-wire acts in the tech industry, there can be few endeavors more alarming than active a aegis update to a software belvedere hosting more than 2.6 billion users.

But that’s absolutely what Facebook does every time it rolls out an update. Sure, it mitigates the abeyant for terror by making the changes in batches and administering an absurd amount of centralized testing. But at the end of the day, you never know absolutely how any given change could upset the aerial user antithesis that keeps Facebook on people’s screens.

Lucky for Facebook, the company’s AI team afresh came up with a pretty clever way to make sure those software updates and tweaks don’t screw up its belvedere and cost it any users: they built a fake Facebook-scale social media arrangement full of bots to test things out on.

Per a aggregation blog post:

To advance software testing for these circuitous environments — decidedly in artefact areas accompanying to safety, security, and aloofness — Facebook advisers have developed Web-Enabled Simulation (WES). WES is a new method for architecture the first highly realistic, all-embracing simulations of circuitous social networks.

Basically, it’s a copy of Facebook that’s filled with bots. The bots are accomplished by AI models apery human social media capabilities. In essence, the bots can add friends, like posts, and about do annihilation a person could do on a given social media platform.

These bots aren’t like the ones you’re used to seeing on Cheep (shout out to @infinite_scream on Twitter) that exist simply to acknowledge when a text activate occurs. They’re meant to simulate the acquaintance of using a social media site.

According to Facebook:

We’ve used WES to build WW, a apish Facebook ambiance using the platform’s actual assembly code base. With WW (the name is meant to show that this is a abate adaptation of the World Wide Web, or WWW), we can, for example, create astute AI bots that seek to buy items that aren’t accustomed on our platform, like guns or drugs. Because the bot is acting in the actual assembly adaptation of Facebook, it can conduct searches, visit pages, send messages, and take other accomplishments just as a real person might. Bots cannot collaborate with actual Facebook users, however, and their behavior cannot impact the acquaintance of real users on the platform.

Quick take: This seems like a very able way to actuate whether or not a aegis action or new user affection is operating appropriately after risking a broken user acquaintance in the human-facing adaptation of the assembly code. I expect these simulations will become the status quo for social media networks.

Realistically though, the simulation itself solves the better botheration Facebook has: human users. What I wouldn’t give for an allurement to the bot-only version.

Published July 23, 2020 — 21:07 UTC

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