- Facebook announced in a blog Wednesday morning that Regina Dugan will lead a new team inside Facebook called Building 8.
- Dugan is the former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). She most recently ran the Advanced Technologies and Projects lab at Google.
- Though there is little information available yet, the goal of Building 8 appears to be to build a number of future technologies for the company.
"I’m excited to have Regina apply Darpa-style breakthrough development at the intersection of science and products to our mission," Facebook CEO Zuckerberg wrote in the blog.
DARPA is the research and development arm of the Department of Defense and specializes in creating emerging technologies. The agency was responsible for creating computer networking and GUI interfaces in IT, among other things. They
At Google, in addition to other projects, Dugan oversaw the development of a project to create tools for capturing aspects of the real world and converting them into 3D virtual worlds. The group has also explored projects related to biometrics and security, something that could be quite useful to Facebook. The whole goal of the group was to rapidly create new technologies that are useful in the real world, something that Facebook is particularly interested.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook will put "hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars" in the new group. Facebook has already been introducing some innovative technologies.
In March, Zuckerberg showed an example of the artificial intelligence-enhanced maps the company used to create "extremely accurate" population maps. AI technology the company built analyzed 15.6 billion satellite images to map populations across 21.6 million square kilometers of earth. Facebook will use the data to direct the company’s solar-powered plane, enabling it to efficiently beam Internet down to people.