Facebook Wants to Help You Lay Off The Drunken Pictures

By Noah Kaufman |

© Stephen Shepherd / Alamy

If you are a human being currently living on planet Earth you have almost certainly posted a regrettable picture to your Facebook account. The drunken upload not only brings shame to yourself and everyone you care about, but it can also actually cost you financially. Facebook– being the occasionally magnanimous mega-corporation that it is–is actually working on a product to help curb the embarrassing photo epidemic and protect your reputation.

For the last year, NYU computer science researcher Yann LeCun has overseen a team within the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Laboratory which, among other projects, has been developing a Facebook digital assistant. The online tool would help guide your Facebook activity from what you see in your feed to what photos you upload. Using a form of AI called "deep learning," LeCun says the assistant will be able to analyze a picture and tell the difference between your regular face and your I-just-had-an-entire-bottle-of-wine face and alert you to the fact that you are making a huge mistake. He told Wired it would be the equivalent of your friend “tapping you on the shoulder and say[ing]: Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?”

In addition to helping you filter drunk photos of yourself, LeCun says his digital assistant could, for example, alert you when someone  uploads a photo of you even if you aren’t tagged in it.

There are the slightly frightening downsides to technology like this: Facebook will have even more information about you than they currently do, helping to push more ads your way and giving you a general sense that you’re being spied on. But many of us traded our privacy for an unlimited supply of cute puppy videos and baby pictures long ago.

There is much more work to do before Facebook's digital assistant is ready to take on your profile, but the groundwork has been laid. Until it's released, we recommend designating a party night DP—designated photographer. 

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