July 21, 2018

Zuckerberg taps VR to detail relief efforts in Puerto Rico

10 October 2017, 09:10 | Cameron Gross

Image Screengrab via Facebook

Image Screengrab via Facebook

"We're in a 360 video in Puerto Rico. we're on a bridge here, it's flooded", grinning cartoon Zuckerberg said in the Facebook Live video.

Most notably, the entrepreneurial wunderkind detailed how they have been teaming up with the Red Cross by building artificial intelligence which help create population maps, and thus can efficiently allocate resources and assistance.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a live video of him and Rachel Rubin, the head of social virtual reality at Facebook, showing off how to use Facebook Spaces, the company's virtual reality platform. The live-stream saw Zuckerberg and Rachel Franklin, head of social VR at Facebook, represented as cartoon avatars in flooded areas of the USA territory, where citizens are still struggling to access clean water, electricity and other necessities in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company is working with the American Red Cross to target aid efforts in Puerto Rico using artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to identify areas to deliver aid.

Do the avatars have any options on how to make you less awkward or how to get you out of really bad promotional stunts?...

The moment Zuckerberg points out that "this street is completely flooded" while in front of an image of a flooded street is also a highlight. The livestream presentation took place at the company's Menlo Park, California headquarters, with the pair wearing Oculus headsets.

"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.

"I mean, can you guys, can you see this behind me, I mean this is what it looks like down here", Zuckerberg marveled, with Franklin responding: "It's insane to feel like you're in the middle of it", all of which prompted a one-word response from Gizmodo: "Jeez".

Next, the duo chose 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. Some other spots they "teleported" to included the surface of the moon and next to Zuckerberg's dog, Beast.

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