Mark Zuckerberg Talks About Hurricanes and Puerto Rico in Virtual Reality

Mark Zuckerberg Talks About Hurricanes and Puerto Rico in Virtual Reality

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in the firing line over a freaky livestream demo of the company's virtual reality (VR) products in which a cartoon version of the billionaire "visited" hurricane-hit Puerto Rico. At one point, Zuckerberg enthused, in that affectless but enthusiastic tone he's adopted since getting media training: "One of the things that's really magical about virtual reality is you can get the feeling you're really in a place". Because that could actually be helpful?

Facebook has done some admirable charity work in Puerto Rico, and the video is, viewed in a generous light, in just very poor taste.

The video begins with Zuckerberg's and Franklin's avatars at Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, California, according to The Guardian.

Online users have called Zuckerberg a "heartless billionaire" and accused him of "exploiting disaster" after a presentation which was hosted on his Facebook page. "You can get a sense of... we are on a bridge here, it is flooded, you can get a sense of the damage that the hurricanes have done".

This "new effort" will allow the Red Cross to "figure out where people are that need help" and pair them up with rescue teams, said Zuckerberg, who also announced that Facebook has donated more than $1.5m (£1.1m) to the relief effort. It is the company's virtual reality app, which runs on Oculus Rift headset.

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Her older sister, Paige Block, said she looked up to Melchert as a hero. "Not many , but there still is, and he's one of them". Block agreed to accompany him in his vehicle . "He risked a lot of things and put himself in danger". "Things are looking up".

The company intends to help the flood-hit country via NetHope and the American Red Cross. Moreover, they also announced the creation of population maps using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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 Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes described it as a "rather unusual demo of a social platform that doesn't have a clear use yet", adding that Zuckerberg as a cartoon avatar "clearly isn't an ideal way to discuss hurricane relief efforts". However, Community Help feature would help to organize aid efforts in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

"We've tried to do this a couple of times in the past but this is an example of how you can use AI and machine learning to help out in savings people's lives and help out in relief efforts", Zuckerberg said.

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