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Facebook and Google Use Open Source To Recruit Developers

Artificial Intelligence (AI)—technology that is adept at identifying images, recognizing spoken words and translating information from one language to another—is the hottest new topic in Silicon Valley. In fact, as of late, both Google and Facebook have found themselves in a race to secure the most brilliant software engineers to continuously improve upon this technology for their own purposes. Specifically, in an attempt to get a leg up on Google, Facebook recently opened sourced its AI software in an effort to draw in top-level developers.

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Facebook’s recent software development is in response to Google’s decision to open source its AI software about a month ago. To many, it may seem odd that both tech giants are so willing to part with the secrets of their AI software; however, their decisions are not without reason. By choosing to make their software open source, their pool of available developers now grows by leaps and bounds. In other words, the more developers that choose to rally behind a particular platform, the better that platform can become. In the end, more minds are working in an effort to better the software’s development.

While both companies are striving to make significant change in the AI space thanks to open source, it’s worth noting that the importance of AI is different for Google and Facebook. On one hand, Google utilizes the technology to help recognize the commands a user speaks to its Android smartphones. The technology is also a main driver behind the company’s world-famous search engine, which is at the heart of its empire.

For Facebook, however, AI can help identify faces in photos and assist in choosing the right content for users’ social newsfeeds. While the needs for both companies are different, the race is still on as the amount of developers who are able to work on AI—a very new piece of technology—is few and far between.

What was once seen as a tool to allow developers to bring their innovations and ideas to life is now being used by the biggest names in the tech industry as a way to compete with one another. To say open source is the future of software development would be an understatement, as it is quite clear that that time has come. Open source is surely changing the way that software development is being done. 

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More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.

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