Today at the Web 2.0 summit, DST chief Yuri Milner took the stage with John Battelle, where he discussed the firm’s investment strategy (DST has taken major stakes in Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon). Milner was reserved with most of his answers, declining to discuss details on DST’s investments or what other companies it is eyeing, but he did have some interesting things to say about Facebook.
Namely, Milner believes that Facebook could be one of the platforms that drives the development of Artificial Intelligence over the next decade or so. AI probably isn’t the first thing you think about these days when it comes to Facebook, but he has a point — that the site processes an incredible amount of data, and it has the potential to develop powerful filtering tools using both this content and social signals. Here’s a paraphrased quote from Milner’s talk:
I think that when you have billions of people connected and the unprecedented pace of exchange of information then you need filtering mechanisms. And now we’re in the very early stages where your friends and networks are doing it for you, like on Twitter and Facebook. Or the Google approach, where there are a whole bunch of machines that are learning fast. And I think there will be a convergence between those two models. And I think Facebook will be one of those platforms from which AI will emerge in the next ten years.