Facebook roundup: VP departs, AI project, new iOS apps

|About: Facebook (FB)|By:, SA News Editor

Engineering and products VP Greg Badros is the latest Facebook (FB) exec to depart. The WSJ reported of two other departures earlier this week.

A former Google exec, Badros held a number of positions during his 4 years at Facebook; most recently, he was in charge of the company's search product efforts. His departure comes shortly after Facebook launched Graph Search.

A new Facebook research team is using an artificial intelligence technique known as deep learning to better decipher the meaning and importance (or lack thereof) of news feed content, and in doing so predict user actions and determine what content should go to the top of a news feed.

A Facebook researcher suggests deep learning could also be used to help users organize content and making sharing/upload decisions. Google, aided by Ray Kurzweil, is looking to apply deep learning to search.

Facebook's news feed algorithm (depends on human judgment rather than AI) already takes into account nearly 100K factors to decide where content is placed within a news feed.

Facebook's iOS apps have been given an iOS 7-friendly overhaul (video). The biggest changes: the traditional sidebar has been replaced by buttons at the bottom of the display, and (for iOS 7 users) a bar at the top of the app changes as a user scrolls. Facebook says it did plenty of secret user testing with its older apps before making the changes.