Meta announces flurry of new AI tools — here's what Facebook will start doing for you

Meta will let you pull in Reels to AI conversations
(Image credit: Meta)

Meta is rolling out new AI tools across its products including an image generator, a new way to collaborate on editing photos, and improved birthday greetings in Facebook.

The social media giant was an early investor in generative AI technology as part of its wider plan to bring about the metaverse. It also made its large language model LlaMA available open-source and contributed to much of the underlying technology.

Over the past year the company has started commercializing this research and its latest offerings will see generative AI embedded across Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

So, what are they launching?

New AI tools and products are launching in search, social discovery, ads, business messaging as well as the full suite of consumer products. This includes better collaboration, automation, and image generation capabilities.

Many of these are built on the Meta AI virtual assistant, designed to answer questions, generate photorealistic images, and be built into other Meta-owned products. Inside WhatsApp, Instagram messages, or Messenger simply type @MetaAI in a group chat and ask it to make something.

The company has also launched a new Meta-branded, standalone product called Imagine. It is a simple image generator along the same lines as Midjourney, DALL-E, or Stable Diffusion. A text prompt and generate button which, when clicked, creates the image you requested

What are some of the highlights?

Several new generative AI services and features are coming from Meta in addition to Imagine. Most of these are built into existing products. Here are the ones I think stand out from the crowd.

Collaborate on images

(Image: © Meta)

One of the new updates allows for collaboration on a generated image. Named reimagine, the feature allows one user to have MetaAI generate an image in a group chat as usual, but then someone else can hold on the picture to riff on it with a text prompt.

For example, the first user could generate a picture of a GoldenDoodle dog, then the second user could put a fedora hat on the dog and another could place the dog on the Moon.

Birthday greetings in Facebook

(Image: © Meta)

Meta is updating all Facebook messaging capabilities with generative AI, including offering suggestions for a birthday greeting drawing on your data and previous posts. You start by drafting a basic post and then updating the details with input from MetaAI.

This will also include creating and sharing generative images within a post and making it easier to adapt the images as needed.

Converting images for Stories

(Image: © Meta)

One of the more interesting features hidden in the announcement is an easier way to convert a landscape image into a portrait and back.

While this is easy enough to do with any image editor, or even in the native photos apps for iPhone and Android, this crops the image and cuts out details.

Meta uses generative AI to analyze the image and extend it out or sideways, filling in missing information to allow for a seamless portrait conversion.

Pulling Reels into MetaAI conversations

(Image: © Meta)

Meta AI can help you plan a vacation, work up ideas for a gift for that particularly difficult friend or relative, or even generate ideas for home decoration.

Now it will be able to pull in publicly posted Reels that are related to your query. For example, if you are planning a trip to Tokyo it can show Reels of some top sites to visit.

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover.
When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?