Facebook is experimenting with robots to push its AI research forward

<em>A hexapod robot used by Facebook in its research</em>.

Facebook is certainly a high-tech company, but it’s not one you would necessarily associate with robots. However, as the firm revealed today, that’s exactly where its researchers are looking next — trying to see how experiments in robotics can further its work in AI.

This isn’t uncommon for big tech companies. A lot of firms, including Google, Nvidia, and Amazon, use robots as a platform to explore avenues of AI research. Controlling robots is, in many ways, trickier than challenges like playing board games and video games. With these latter tasks, researchers have access to simulated game environments, which allows AI agents to play and learn at accelerated speeds. There’s no such shortcut for training robots.

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