AI, bots might dominate Facebook's 2017 F8 developer conference


The annual F8 conference is meant to rally developers to do more with Facebook services and spread its tentacles into the broader Internet.

Facebook today announced a platform for developers to build new experiences into its in-app cameras, saying it would bring augmented reality into the mainstream and position Facebook to reap the majority of the benefits.

You can live stream the keynote at

This time, though, Facebook is also declaring war on pretty much everyone else in the tech industry, too. We talk about some of the hints left by cast members during its season premiere event, including the addition of more female cast.

Facebook's new tool Precise Location tool is almost the same as Snap's new feature, also announced on Tuesday, World Lenses.

Facebook just built a virtual reality version of. The developer platform now has over 100,000 developers building on it. Messenger bots are getting a massive overhaul with the all new Messenger Platform 2.0.

At launch, Facebook has signed up select beta partners at launch including Electronic Arts (for Mass Effect: Andromeda), GIPHY, Manchester United, Nike, Real Madrid, TripIt and Warner Bros (for Justice League) for its AR Studio tool.

Remember, Facebook tried to pull an Instagram and buy Snapchat several years back when it was still tiny, offering a reported $3 billion.

Facebook repeatedly has misjudged and mistimed technology shifts, including most famously its lackluster pace in pushing its community of browser game makers and advertisers to focus on mobile innovations.

Facebook executives stressed that the technology is still in its early stages, and that the "journey to the future of augmented reality is just one percent finished", as Deb Liu, vice president of platform and marketplaces, put it.

If imitation is the most honest form of flattery, Snapchat should be honored by the years Facebook has spent knocking off its features.

At this year's F8 conference, taking place this week, Zuckerberg doubled down on the company's ambitious 10-year master plan, which was first revealed in 2016. "People already have cameras and are used to having fun and being creative with them", he said. Since its last developer conference, Facebook has made huge strides in terms of 360 video and virtual reality experiences, now allowing 360 video and photos to be shared on the site.

By opening its platform to developers, Facebook is looking for scale.

There's a lot of technology behind even those primitive examples of AR applications, said Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer.

"Augmented reality is going to help us mix the digital and physical in new ways", Zuckerberg continued onstage.

Ex-Googler Regina Dugan heads up Building 8 and recently teased that new hardware advances could allow people who are far away to connect.