Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given employees a preview of the company's first batch of generative AI tools, which will be coming to platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram in the future.
At an all-hands meeting on Thursday, Zuckerberg told staff to expect generative AI to feature in “every single one of our products” going forward, as well as being leveraged as a productivity assistant internally.
With the ways businesses are using ChatGPT and other AI tech increasing by the day, the showcase by Meta is perhaps somewhat overdue, with rival tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and even Snapchat showing off their AI future some time ago.
First AI Features for Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook
Reports of the internal employee showcase came via the New York Times and have since been confirmed by Meta.
At the event, top Meta execs — including Zuckerberg, chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth, and chief product officer Chris Cox — showed off some of the ways Meta would incorporate its own generative AI models into its products.
Most obviously, this will include ChatGPT-style bot conversations taking place in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Beyond that, AI tools for Instagram were highlighted that would allow users to modify their photos using text prompts, while another will create custom emojis for use on social media and in messaging services.
The AI Metaverse You Never Knew You Needed
Zuckerberg even suggested the company was building AI tech that would be capable of creating rich 3D content and, therefore, entire worlds in the metaverse.
Back in this world, a productivity helper for Meta staff called Metamate was also revealed. Metamate will be capable of answering various questions and performing certain internal tasks, based on the information outlined in company documentation and stored on its systems.
We can only sit back and wonder how many of those queries and routine jobs used to be done by actual people, given the 21,000 or so layoffs reported at Meta since last November.
Meta Set to Bounce Back?
Cynicism aside, it's clear Meta is trying to move forward after a difficult few years that saw $80 billion wiped off its value in 2022. This came after the company tried and arguably failed to reinvent itself with a new name to focus on the metaverse.
Since then, it has repeatedly made headlines for being behind some of the biggest tech company layoffs we've seen. It will no doubt hope this June represents a turning point.
In addition to showing off its first AI tools and talking overall strategy to employees, Meta also found time this week to launch a major new WhatsApp feature, dubbed WhatsApp Channels, which has the potential to bring serious B2C reach to the world's most popular messaging app as a B2C.