Facebook and Instagram Make a Big Reveal That Their Users Will Love

Artificial intelligence used to exist, at least for the consumer, behind the scenes. The technology has long been in the engine room of platforms like Google, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Netflix even employs an AI-driven algorithm. 

But last year, ChatGPT was deployed by OpenAI, setting off a subsequent AI arms race that has seen the rapid development and deployment of a whole host of platforms called “generative” AI. And among this rise in the availability of user-facing AI have been calls for regulation and greater transparency

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Amid this environment,  (META) – Get Free Report popped the proverbial hood of its algorithms, breaking down exactly how AI works behind the scenes to create the feeds users see on Facebook and Instagram. 

This reveal is “part of a wider ethos of openness, transparency and accountability. That starts with giving you more insight into, and control over, the content you see.”

The company, saying that in general, its multiple AI systems work to predict how valuable a piece of content might be to each user, shared 22 “system cards” that break down many of the different predictors — encompassing reels, feeds, comments and stories — that it uses across Facebook and Instagram. 

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Your Instagram feed, for example, is populated by an AI that ranks hundreds of potential posts based on predictions about relevancy, including each user’s likelihood of clicking on a user’s profile or sharing a post on a separate platform. 

Meta is additionally expanding its “Why Am I Seeing This” feature, which gives users insight into why the algorithm presented a specific post, across Instagram Reels, tab and Explore, something that will make its way to Facebook Reels soon. 

Meta also said that it created a new settings page for both platforms that allows users to customize the controls that impact the recommendations that populate content. 

“With rapid advances taking place with powerful technologies like generative AI, it’s understandable that people are both excited by the possibilities and concerned about the risks,” Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote. “We believe that the best way to respond to those concerns is with openness.”

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