Meta boss Zuckerberg says new team is building ‘AI personas’

With the tech industry increasingly focusing on generative AI products following the whirlwind of interest in OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, Meta is keen to ensure that everyone knows that it too is taking a keen interest in the space.

In an online post on Monday, Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said the company is bringing together its current AI teams to create a single group in a move designed to “turbocharge our work in this area.”

Zuckerberg also outlined his plans for how Meta will utilize generative AI across its range of products, among them Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The Meta boss said: “We’re starting by pulling together a lot of the teams working on generative AI across the company into one group focused on building delightful experiences around this technology into all of our different products.”

Zuckerberg said that in the immediate future, the team will concern itself with “building creative and expressive tools,” while in the longer term it’ll focus on “developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways.”

He said the new, unified team is exploring experiences with text and chat in WhatsApp and Messenger, and also with images, such as filters and formats in Instagram.

The Meta CEO’s message is, it has to be said, rather light on detail, and he even admits that Meta “has a lot of foundational work to do before getting to the really futuristic experiences.”

Still, he says he’s “excited about all of the new things we’ll build along the way.”

Meta, formerly Facebook, has been engaged with AI research for a number of years, but the early buzz around ChatGPT — elements of which Microsoft has already incorporated into its Bing search engine for a more natural, conversational experience — has prompted many tech giants to double down on their efforts in the area.

To some extent, Zuckerberg’s message feels like he’s just letting everyone know that Meta isn’t betting big only on its AR/VR metaverse, which seems to have faded from view since ChatGPT landed on the scene toward the end of last year, and that the company is keeping up with trends.

His announcement comes at a turbulent time for Meta, which, like many of its competitors, recently announced mass layoffs as part of cost-cutting measures as the company at the same time seeks to boost its shrinking revenue amid an ad slump.

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