Social media giant signs up former DARPA and Google executive to head new Building 8 projects
Facebook has confirmed it is looking into developing more hardware with the establishment of a new specialised research lab arm.
Building 8 will look to create products that “advance our mission of connecting the world,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on the site last night, and will see the investment of “hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over the next few years”.
The team will be headed by former Google Advanced Technology and Projects executive Regina Dugan (pictured left with Zuckerberg), who has also been Director of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) at the Pentagon.
“Building 8 is an opportunity to do what I love most. tech infused with a sense of our humanity,” she said in a statement. “Audacious science delivered at scale in products that feel almost magic. A little badass. And beautiful.”
“I’m excited to have Regina apply DARPA-style breakthrough development at the intersection of science and products to our mission,” Zuckerberg added.
“This method is characterized by aggressive, fixed timelines, extensive use of partnerships with universities, small and large businesses, and clear objectives for shipping products at scale.”
Building 8’s work will also complement Facebook’s ten-year plan, laid out by Zuckerberg at the company’s F8 conference earlier this week.
This will see the company expand its work into artificial intelligence, especially in the use of chatbots that can can be used for automated responses, customer service or to order goods and services.
Facebook will also be making significant updates to its developer platform, adding new features and APIs that it claims will allow businesses to build, grow and monetise their applications.
It is also looking to expand its Internet.org and Free Basics service to new areas across the world, meaning that Building 8 could be used for the development and construction of internet-broadcasting drones or balloons.
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