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Facebook employees develop a new map that follows fashion trends around the cities

AI developers and even some of them who are affiliated with Facebook constructed a map using almost seven million public photos using social media platforms such Instagram and Flickr. The map, which they call an underground fashion map, was created using posts with their location tags and spans out to almost thirty plus cities. The map shows a group of people inside the city even highlighting the areas which are more progressive in terms of fashion than the rest.

The map forecasts fashion trends of the particular area using an AI tool called GeoStyle which is funded by Amazon.

According to the researchers, an individual who is not familiar with the area’s customs might get assisted by this new development. Researchers also believe that anthropologists can play a great role by assisting in the development.

However, because the map has a link with Amazon and Facebook, both of whom have a bad reputation for breaching their user’s privacy have raised a lot of fingers at the project.

Developers did not respond to the speculation about how the team plans to use the data it has collected so far from the social media platforms. However, users on Instagram and Flickr know that their posts are being used for the development of the project.

When reached out, Cornell’s spokesperson first claimed that the development team has no affiliation with Facebook. But later on, they acknowledged that a bunch of Facebook employees are also working on the project.

Kavita Bala, who is a professor at Cornell and the study co-author, has used some of the products by Facebook to develop the project.

Facebook and other companies might use the mapping for their target advertisement; however, the actual use of the map is way above just advertisement. The bigger concern right now is how the project would affect data analyzed by Finance and real estate sectors, such sectors will abuse the mapping to benefit themselves.

Just like Facebook, which used the personal data of its users for target advisement and came under the spotlight in 2019.Advertisement has been Facebook’s main source of income, and have allowed other companies to advertise on their platform, even excluding some racial group from learning about the new opportunities to avail them.

It’s expected that financial tech companies will use the mapping to their advantage.


H/T: Vice.

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