Facebook announced a research project in which it collected 2,200 hours of first-person footage from around the world to train the next generation of artificial intelligence models.
The project is called Ego4D, and it could prove crucial to the company’s Reality Labs division, which is working on several projects that could benefit from AI models trained using video footage captured from a human perspective.
This includes smart glasses, such as Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories released last month, and virtual reality, in which the company has invested heavily since its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014.
Snapshots can teach AI to understand or identify something in the real world or the virtual world that you might see in first person through smart glasses or Oculus headsets.
The company said it is making the Ego4D data set available to researchers in November. She added: “This release, which represents an open data set and a research challenge, catalyzes progress for us both internally and externally at large in the academic community.” It also allows other researchers to consider solutions to these new problems. And do it in a more meaningful way and on a larger scale.
The dataset can be deployed in AI models used to train technology such as robots to understand the world more quickly. A robot traditionally learns by doing things in the world. And there are opportunities to let them learn from the video from our own experience.
Facebook and a consortium of 13 partner universities relied on more than 700 participants in nine countries to capture first-person shots. Using off-the-shelf devices such as GoPro cameras and Vuzix smart glasses.
Facebook’s university partners include Carnegie Mellon University in the US, the University of Bristol in the UK, the National University of Singapore, the University of Tokyo in Japan and the International Institute for Information Technology in India.
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The footage was taken in the US, UK, Italy, India, Japan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. The company said it hopes to expand the project to more countries, including Colombia and Rwanda.
The company is steadily stepping up its efforts in the hardware field. Last month, it released its $299 Ray-Ban Stories, its first smart glasses.
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In July, the company announced the formation of a product team to work on Metaverse. It is a concept that involves creating digital worlds that can be lived by many people at the same time.
But over the past month, Facebook has been bombarded with news stories. The stories came from a trove of internal company research leaked by Frances Huggin, a former product manager at the company.
Among the research released, there were slides that showed that Instagram is harmful to the mental health of teens.
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For privacy, the company said participants were instructed to avoid capturing personally identifiable characteristics when collecting footage indoors.
This includes people’s faces, conversations, tattoos, and jewelry. Facebook said it had removed personally identifiable information from the videos with the faces of pedestrians and vehicle license plate numbers blacked out. The audio has also been removed from many of the videos.