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Apr 16, 2020

Facebook is using bots to simulate what its users might do

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Has developed a new method to play out the consequences of its code.

The context: Like any software company, the tech giant needs to test its product any time it pushes updates. But the sorts of debugging methods that normal-size companies use aren’t really enough when you’ve got 2.5 billion users. Such methods usually focus on checking how a single user might experience the platform and whether the software responds to those individual users’ actions as expected. In contrast, as many as 25% of Facebook’s major issues emerge only when users begin interacting with one another. It can be difficult to see how the introduction of a feature or updates to a privacy setting might play out across billions of user interactions.

SimCity: In response, Facebook built a scaled-down version of its platform to simulate user behavior. Called WW, it helps engineers identify and fix the undesired consequences of new updates before they’re deployed. It also automatically recommends changes that can be made to the platform to improve the community experience.

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