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Mark Zuckerberg talks telepathy, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality

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Mark Zuckerberg has waxed lyrical on all manner of sci-fi goodness during his latest ‘townhall Q&A’ session.

One such topic was telepathy, whereby Zuckerberg envisions we’ll one day be able to communicate just through our thoughts. *tenses head*

“One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like,” explains the Facebook founder.

He also went on at length about Facebook’s efforts in the artificial intelligence sector, revealing how the company hopes to shape the future of AI.

“Most of our AI research is focused on understanding the meaning of what people share,” says Zuckerberg. “In order to do this really well, our goal is to build AI systems that are better than humans at our primary senses: vision, listening, etc.”

The Harvard drop-out continued: “For vision, we’re building systems that can recognise everything that’s in an image or a video.

This includes people, objects, scenes, etc. These systems need to understand the context of the images and videos as well as whatever is in them.”

“For listening and language, we’re focusing on translating speech to text, text between any languages, and also being able to answer any natural language question you ask,” Zuckerberg added.

Related: Elon Musk's 5 craziest tech ideas for the future

That’s all well and good, but why do we need great AI? Especially since it’s expected to replace most of our jobs, and even potentially bring about the end of humanity.

Zuckerberg has far more humanitarian goals for AI though, and reckons it can revolutionise the way we live and consume media.

“We’re working on AI because we think more intelligent services will be much more useful for you to use. For example, if we had computers that could understand the meaning of the posts in News Feed and show you more things you’re interested in, that would be pretty amazing,” the Facebook CEO explains.

He continues: “Similarly, if we could build computers that could understand what’s in an image and could tell a blind person who otherwise couldn’t see that image, that would be pretty amazing as well. This is all within our reach and I hope we can deliver it in the next 10 years.”

And no Zuckerberg diatribe would be complete without a mention of virtual reality, especially since the company is the proud owner of VR firm Oculus.

“We’re working on VR because I think it’s the next major computing and communication platform after phones,” Zuckerberg reveals. “In the future we’ll probably still carry phones in our pockets, but I think we’ll also have glasses on our faces that can help us out throughout the day and give us the ability to share our experiences with those we love in completely immersive and new ways that aren’t possible today.”

Do you think Zuckerberg’s vision of the future is possible? Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you’re interested in VR, take a look at how the Samsung Gear VR headset fares on the streets of London:

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