Meta is set to dive into the generative AI pool, joining a long list of tech giants looking to leverage this game-changing technology. The company recently announced plans to build a new top-level product group that will focus on integrating generative AI into its services, used by billions of users worldwide.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, stated that the company’s immediate focus would be on creating creative tools that use generative AI, with the long-term goal being the development of AI personas capable of helping people in a variety of ways. However, Zuckerberg cautioned that there is still a lot of foundational work that needs to be done before these “futuristic” experiences can be shared with users.
The company has already begun testing text-based AI tools on its popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Messenger. These tools are likely to take the form of ChatGPT-styled conversation bots, providing users with fun and engaging interactions. However, Meta also plans to leverage these tools by offering them to businesses in areas such as sales and customer support.
Meta is also exploring the use of AI-aided filters and ad formats on Instagram, along with “video and multi-modal experiences.” According to Axios, the project will be led by former Apple executive Ahmad Al-Dahle, with the team reporting to Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
While generative AI tools have been around for some time, the technology gained mainstream attention with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot. Microsoft has already integrated some of this technology into Bing search and Edge browser, while Google is experimenting with its own rival product called Bard. Other search engines, such as You.com and Neeva, have also announced plans to integrate AI-powered chat products. Even Facebook’s rival, Snapchat, has launched a custom-trained chatbot for its paid subscribers.
Meta’s move into the generative AI space is not surprising, given Zuckerberg’s recent focus on the metaverse. With the company yet to see a significant return on this investment, it will need to find new ways to earn revenue. Last week, Meta debuted its Meta Verified subscription program, but like other social networks, paid plans are yet to show themselves as a significant revenue driver. Therefore, it is likely that Meta’s exploration of generative AI will form a key part of the company’s strategy moving forward.