Facebook makes its AI debug platform Infer open source

12 Jun 2015

Facebook is looking to get its artificial intelligence (AI) program, called Infer, out to as many developers as possible, having taken the step to release it online as an open-source product.

The bug hunter was created by Facebook initially to hunt out errors on its various product apps – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram etc… – on both Android and iOS, but it is now available to any developer who works with Objective-C, Java, or C code.

The product is sold as almost a drag-and-drop tool to root out bugs, but according to Wired the success rate of Infer is close to 80pc, considerably high for an AI System.

Infer’s ability to sort through code is powered by what is called its ‘static program analysis’, which Facebook and its team of coders say is able to break down large volumes of code much faster than standard static analysis.

With Infer, Facebook is able to break down and analyse code changes made to a mobile app in approximately 10 minutes.

Infer was originally created as a start-up by two computer scientists, Peter O’Hearn and John Reynolds, and it was snapped up by Facebook soon after founding.

Speaking of the release of Infer as open source, O’Hearn said: “Static analysis is full of great ideas but also unsolved problems. We hope this can boost collaboration between industry and academia, and get research flowing in both directions.”

Coding image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic