Social media giant Facebook is working on two new projects, one of which would be a handy tool that would summarize an article so people don’t have to go through all of it. The other project is more ambitious, as it involves a tool that would be able to read someone’s brain and translate their thoughts into action.
These announcements were a part of the company’s end of the year meeting lead by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The company was able to move forward and managed to add more than 20,000 new employees this year. The social network also reported record usage during the year due to the pandemic.
Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said that 2020 was the busiest year for Facebook after March.
As for the article summarization tool, the company revealed that it would be an AI-powered tool called TLDR, which is an acronym for Too Long Didn’t Read. This would summarize a news article into bullet points so people don’t have to read the whole thing. It would also provide audio narration as well as a voice assistant to answer.
The brain reading tool does not appear to have a name yet, but it will be able to read commands directly from peoples’ minds. Facebook acquired a neural interface startup CTRL Labs in 2019 and showed its progress in the meeting.
The company is working on a neural sensor that would take neural signals from the brain, down the spinal cord to the arm and wrist, allowing anyone to take physical action. This could be used for typing, holding a virtual object, or controlling characters in a video game.
Schroepfer commented on this development saying:
We all get the privilege of seeing the future because we are making it.