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Facebook Optimistic on Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality

Matilda James

Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook: Social Media in Flux

(Continued from Prior Part)

Use human nature to do good things

As we saw in the previous part of this series, Facebook (FB) has announced its plan to develop a dislike button on the Facebook news feed. At the Q&A (question-and-answer) session at headquarters, CEO (chief executive officer) Mark Zuckerberg also emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Zuckerberg said, “All new technology has the ability to do good and bad but I am fundamentally optimistic about human nature and our ability to use these things to do good. He went on to say, “For example, artificial intelligence could help Facebook assess graphic content. Such content is now reported to Facebook’s community-standards division, but AI tools could supplant that. That will require improvement in the technology. Now, computers can’t look at a photo and understand if it is graphic or contains nudity.”

Facebook has made huge investments in long-term projects that include virtual reality (or VR). VR is an artificial environment generated by computer software and hardware. It looks and feels like a real environment. In March 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus, the leader in immersive virtual reality technology.

As you can see in the above graph, the Oculus acquisition cost Facebook $2 billion, of which $400 million was paid in cash. Facebook paid $1.6 billion in stocks. An additional $300 million in cash and stock incentives will go to Oculus, provided it hits certain milestones.

Virtual reality technology

Virtual reality technology is expected to be the next step in gaming innovation. At the E3 2015 Live Streams and Press Conference on July 11, 2015, Facebook and Microsoft (MSFT) announced the combination of Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s Xbox One.

This clearly indicates Facebook’s and Microsoft’s growing interest in the virtual and augmented reality space, the latest innovation in the gaming world. The leading players in the gaming space are Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s (SNE) Nintendo (NTDOY).

To gain portfolio exposure to Facebook, you can consider investing in the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK).

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