Artificial intelligence changing the social network game – speech recognition – image recognition – natural language understanding.

might conjure up futuristic images from science fiction, but in social media, it’s already being used to recommend the right jobs, tag photos or display news you’re more likely to care about.

To LinkedIn’s Vice President of Engineering Deepak Agarwal, Artificial intelligence is like oxygen for the business-oriented social network.

“Data is our biggest asset. Without AI and machine learning, you’re not going to be able to surface the right insights to the right users and customers,” Agarwal said.

AI is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines with the ability to achieve goals like humans do, according to John McCarthy, the computer scientist who coined the term “artificial intelligence” in the 1950s.

Agarwal, the head of AI and relevance at LinkedIn, recently sat down with this newspaper to chat about how the tech company — now owned by Microsoft — is using AI to enhance the careers of the site’s more than 467 million members. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

SwissCognitive LogoQ: What did early AI tools in a social network look like when you were first beginning your career?

A: Initially, if you looked at the entire internet space, it was mostly search. How to make search scalable and intelligent, how to retrieve the right document for a given query. I remember when I was in Yahoo, we started this project to revamp Yahoo’s front page. We would have an editorial team who decided which news goes to the front page and where. They would look at some dashboards and see, “Oh, this is not doing so great for the last two hours,” and then take (the story) out.

Q: What are some of the ways LinkedIn has been harnessing the power of AI to connect people to the right jobs, or recruiters to great potential hires? […]

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