Meta has released its own AI already with the academia-focused LLaMA and a AI powered Segment Anything image tool, but has been arguably dragging its heels compared to Bing with ChatGPT and Google Bard in adopting AI. That now looks set to change.
In Meta's Q1 earnings call on April 26th, Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to bring AI technology “to billions of people in ways that will be useful and meaningful.”
The Facebook founder directly mentioned “chat experiences in WhatsApp and Messenger,” as well as “visual creation tools for posts in Facebook and Instagram and ads” with video and multi-modal experiences to arrive in time. Zuckerberg didn’t provide specifics but stated that generative AI would be coming to all of Meta’s products, with some expected in just a few months' time. What form the features will take is not known at the moment but it may involve some kind of chatbot using the LLaMA model.
Whether AI features belong on social platforms is another matter. SnapChat’s My AI feature powered by ChatGPT has faced a large backlash with 1-star reviews for the app and even persuaded some users to uninstall the app altogether. There is also some confusion over how much data the AI collects. Meta has a wealth of personal information on most of us already, which would likely continue with its AI features.
Wait, where does this leave the Metaverse?
AI is the coming force in tech and while Meta has admitted this, it has still not given up on the Metaverse by any means. In the same call, Zuckerberg said that "a narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that that’s not accurate,” Zuckerberg said.
In fact, AI could give the metaverse a boose, with Zuckerberg claiming users will “much more easily be able to create avatars, objects, worlds, and code to tie all of them together. “
To further emphasize its Metaverse commitment, multiple rumors suggest that Meta’s next VR headset, the Meta Quest 3 will launch this year. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the headset will feature Meta Reality, which allows the headset to be used for both augmented reality and virtual reality.