Zuck shows Virtual Empathy by visiting Puerto Rico in VR

Zuck shows Virtual Empathy by visiting Puerto Rico in VR

Zuck shows Virtual Empathy by visiting Puerto Rico in VR

From inside Facebook's Frank Gehry-designed headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the two chose to "check out this interesting 360 video", as Zuckerberg described it, of the devastation in Puerto Rico.

Online users have called Zuckerberg a "heartless billionaire" and accused him of "exploiting disaster" after a presentation which was hosted on his Facebook page.

On Monday again, Zuckerberg demoed AR using Facebook's new virtual reality platform, Facebook Spaces, viewing affected areas of Puerto Rico in his virtual avatar to identify spots that needed aid.

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The video begins with Zuckerberg's and Franklin's avatars at Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, California, according to The Guardian. "You know, it feels like we're really here in Puerto Rico, where it's obviously a tough place to get into now, and a lot of people are really suffering with the aftermath of the hurricanes".

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The Facebook CEO said that the company is working with the American Red Cross to aid efforts in the affected areas using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence.

"We're looking around, and it feels like we're really here in Puerto Rico", Zuckerberg said. They later visited the virtual moon, but not until a technical glitch interrupted transmissions and kicked them back into reality for a while.

What should have been an informational Facebook Live session about the social media site's social VR tool Spaces ended up being a tone deaf display that some are calling disaster tourism. Moreover, they also announced the creation of population maps using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Facebook has donated $1.5 million to the relief effort, the CEO said.

But a number of people on the internet, including certain media outlets, are arguing that Zuckerberg's attempt at highlighting his company's advanced technology was tasteless, even offensive. The team will help to increase coordination in relief efforts. When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, it took out the island's entire electric grid, cutting both communications and access to drinking water. "That's going to help the Red Cross figure out where people are who need help".

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