Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Facebook's new way for relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Facebook's new way for relief efforts in Puerto Rico

During the presentation, which was hosted from Facebook's headquarters in Silicon Valley, Zuckerberg detailed how the company is using artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to identify areas of need on the island. Facebook is also working with the Red Cross to build population maps with satellite imagery to help highlight areas where aid is most needed.

In a move that rivaled the president tossing rolls of paper towels, free-throw style, into a crowd of hurricane survivors, Mark Zuckerberg created his own completely avoidable public-relations disaster Monday when he chose to demonstrate Facebook's new Facebook Spaces app-which lets users explore real destinations as Wii-like cartoon avatars-in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Zuckerberg, along with Facebook's social VR chief, Rachel Franklin, appeared as an avatar as they "teleported" to different locations using the company's Spaces chat platform, reports The Guardian.

The livestream briefly dropped due to a technical glitch before they started over again on the virtual lunar surface. "We're on a bridge here", Zuckerberg said.

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The Puerto Rico locations that Zuckerberg chose for showcasing Facebook Spaces capabilities was a little weird.

Speaking as a cartoonish version of himself, Zuckerberg showed viewers some of the damage caused by the recent powerful storms, mentioning, "One of the things that's really magical about virtual reality is you can get the feeling that you're really in a place". Not just the grinning Zuckerberg cartoon, but also a high-five moment between Franklin and Zuckerberg with boring scenes around was awkward.

"When you are in the middle of a disaster like this, it's really important that people have access to the internet", he said, noting it's useful in communicating with loved ones.

Next, the duo made a decision to "teleport" back to California to promote Facebook's upcoming Oculus Connect developer conference by showing off a 360-degree video from last year's event. Both also went to Zuckerberg's living room to see the Zuckerberg's dog - Beast. Further, stressing the importance of the Internet, he said that relief workers should be able to coordinate to find out the spot where people are looking for help.

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