Heard on Campus: Facebook's Umer Farooq

“Fifty years ago, a notable technologist predicted three stages for humans and computers. First, human-computer interaction where computers are tools and extensions of the arm, eye and brain. Second, computer symbiosis, the coupling of humans and computers thinking together. Third, ultra-intelligent machines that dominate humans in analysis and tasks. Where are we now?

"Here’s an example. Half asleep, [a girl] rolls over to turn off her alarm. Its 6:44 a.m., 16 minutes before the time she had set. However, the alarm’s weather app indicates that inclement weather requires her to get moving earlier because she has a meeting at 8:30. That a computer can take initiative to do that is why we’re moving closer to symbiosis.”

-- Umer Farooq, user research manager at Facebook on the Messenger team, spoke March 2 in the Information Sciences and Technology Building at Penn State's University Park campus.

Last Updated March 02, 2017