Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the extent of the company’s AI investments during an internal company meeting.
The meeting included discussions about new products, such as chatbots for Messenger and WhatsApp that can converse with different personas. Additionally, Meta announced new features for Instagram, including the ability to modify user photos via text prompts and create emoji stickers for messaging services.
These developments come at a crucial time for Meta, as the company has faced financial struggles and an identity crisis in recent years. Investors criticised Meta for focusing too heavily on its metaverse ambitions and not paying enough attention to AI.
Meta’s decision to focus on AI tools follows in the footsteps of its competitors, including Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat, who have received significant investor attention for their generative AI products. Unlike the aforementioned rivals, Meta is yet to release any consumer-facing generative AI products.
To address this gap, Meta has been reorganising its AI divisions and investing heavily in infrastructure to support its AI product needs.
Zuckerberg expressed optimism during the company meeting, stating that advancements in generative AI have made it possible to integrate the technology into “every single one” of Meta’s products. This signifies Meta’s intention to leverage AI across its platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
In addition to consumer-facing tools, Meta also announced a productivity assistant called Metamate for its employees. This assistant is designed to answer queries and perform tasks based on internal company information.
Meta is also exploring open-source models, allowing users to build their own AI-powered chatbots and technologies. However, critics and competitors have raised concerns about the potential misuse of these tools, as they can be utilised to spread misinformation and hate speech on a larger scale.
Zuckerberg addressed these concerns during the meeting, emphasising the value of democratising access to AI. He expressed hope that users would be able to develop AI programs independently in the future, without relying on frameworks provided by a few large technology companies.
Despite the increased focus on AI, Zuckerberg reassured employees that Meta would not be abandoning its plans for the metaverse, indicating that both AI and the metaverse would remain key areas of focus for the company.
The success of these endeavours will determine whether Meta can catch up with its competitors and solidify its position among tech leaders in the rapidly-evolving landscape.
Related: Meta’s open-source speech AI models support over 1,100 languages
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