Web Summit 2016: Facebook CTO Says Priorities For The Next Decade Are Connectivity, AI & VR

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer says his firm’s technology priorities over the next ten years are getting people connected and offering new experiences

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer says the company’s main areas of focus over the next ten years will be connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality.

“Are you ready to talk about the future?” he asked the audience at Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon. “These are the biggest problems we are trying to solve for the future.”

Facebook has launched a number of initiatives to improve access to the Internet, including the controversial internet.org and free basics by Facebook services, but it suffered a significant blow when plans to launch satellite broadband were hampered by the Falcon 9 Space X explosion.

Read More: Tech figures debate AI, VR and fintech at Web Summit 2016

Facebook technology priorities

facebook1Naturally, more people on the web means more people who can become Facebook users.

However other initiatives such as the Open Compute Project, which aims to advance open data centre and cloud infrastructure, and the Telecoms Infra Project (TIP), which is building open source network equipment designs, are central to these ambitions.

Schropfer explained that Facebook’s vision of AI involved delivering tools to users’ pockets and showed off a demo that added effects to videos, similar to the Prism photo sharing application.

As for virtual reality (VR), Facebook has invested heavily in Oculus and other platforms to bring experiences that take people to different places “temporarily.”

“How can we bring virtual reality to the world?” he asked. “How can we make this technology cheaper and available to all?

“We believe can bring virtual reality to the masses. The ability to communicate through virtual reality is [something] the company works every day on.”

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This is a modified article that first appeared on B!T Magazine Portugal

Additional reporting by Steve McCaskill