Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the company plans to integrate generative AI into its flagship products, such as Facebook and Instagram. Zuckerberg said that Meta has made “incredible breakthroughs” in generative AI in recent years, and that the company is now ready to bring this technology to its users. He said that generative AI has the potential to “transform the way we create, share, and experience content.”
Speaking to AI research and podcaster Lex Fridman, Zuckerberg offered a wide-ranging state of play for Meta overall. Across the all-encompassing 3 hour+ interview, he also discussed the company's wide-ranging plans for AI.
Zuckerberg was eager to say Meta is a company that promotes the open source development of AI:
“Meta has taken the approach of being quite open and academic in our development of AI. Part of this is we want to have the best people in the world researching this, and a lot of the best people want to know they will be able to share their best work… If you're one of the best AI researchers in the world, you can come here [Meta], you can get access to industry scale infrastructure.
“We want to share what's invented broadly. We do that with a lot of the different AI tools that we create and LLaMA is the language model that our research team made. We did it in a limited open source right which was intended for researchers to be able to use it.”
Next Generation of LLaMA to Power Meta Infrastructure
However, Zuckerberg also suggested that the company would hold back on some technology and not make its AI completely open source. He points to safety and security reasons why Meta is taking this approach:
“You know responsibility and getting safety right on these [AI Models] is very important. For the first one, there were a bunch of questions around whether we should be releasing this commercially. So, we kind of punched it in on that for V1 of LLaMA and just released it for research.”
Discussing Meta's LLaMA large language model (LLM) and the company's response to the growth in generative AI through solutions such as ChatGPT from OpenAI, Bing Chat from Microsoft, and Bard from Google, Zuckerberg said the following:
“We are working on a follow on model (of LLaMA) now that we've had time to work on a lot more of the safety and the pieces around that. But overall, I just kind of think that it would be good if there were a lot of different folks who had the ability to build state of the art technology and not just a group of big companies.
“A lot of what we are doing is taking the first version of LLaMA and trying to now build a version that has all of the latest state of the art safety precautions. You'll have an assistant that you can talk to in WhatsApp… every creator will have an AI agent. Every small business will have an AI agent they can talk to for commerce and customer support.
“LLaMA, the language model underlying this is basically going to be the engine that powers that. The work we are doing to advance the infrastructure is basically taking it beyond a research product into something that is ready to be core infrastructure.”
How LLaMA Will Become Meta's Everything AI
Zuckerberg admits Meta is going big into AI and that large language models will inform how users interact with all of its products, from the Metaverse to Facebook:
“The thing that's new is having technology that can generate ideas. So, this will just be across everything we're doing… The Metaverse stuff we're doing right, it's like you want to create worlds in the future you'll just describe them… A lot of the interface for this stuff today are chat type interfaces and between WhatsApp and Messenger I think these are just great ways to interact with people.”
One of the ways that Meta plans to use generative AI is to allow users to modify their own photos and share them in Instagram Stories. For example, a user could use a text prompt to change the color of their hair or add a new background to their photo. Meta is also working on AI agents that can help or entertain users. These agents will have different personalities and capabilities, and they will be available to use in Messenger and WhatsApp.
In addition to these consumer-facing applications, Meta is also using generative AI for internal purposes. For example, the company is using AI to create realistic avatars for its virtual reality (VR) platform, Horizon Worlds. Zuckerberg said that Meta is committed to publishing research and sharing AI technologies with the open source community. He believes that this will help to accelerate the development of generative AI and make it more accessible to everyone.
The announcement of Meta's plans to integrate generative AI into its products is a significant development. Generative AI is a powerful technology with the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the internet. It will be interesting to see how Meta uses this technology to improve its products and services in the future.
What Is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as text, images, audio, or video, based on existing data. It uses machine learning models that learn the patterns and structure of the input data, and then generate similar or novel data that has the same characteristics.
Generative AI has many applications and benefits, such as enhancing creativity, improving productivity, and solving problems. For example, generative AI can help writers produce engaging stories, artists create realistic images, musicians compose original songs, and developers generate code. It can also help researchers synthesize data for analysis, educators create personalized learning materials, and marketers design effective campaigns.
Earlier this month, leaked information regarding Meta's development of an AI agent for Instagram surfaced. The leak serves as a pointer to the company's wider plans for AI integration in the future.
According to a leaked image (above), users will have the option to choose from 30 different AI personalities, which can also assist in crafting messages. However, it remains unclear what AI tools Instagram will use to power these chatbots.