The MAMAA–acronym companies are considered to be the leaders of the industry, which can be attributed to their inane capabilities of innovation and emerging technologies. But when all of them pursued AI relentlessly and shined through successfully, Meta’s AI plans felt unsteady. Despite high-profile investments in AI technology on Meta Platforms, the tech giant had been hobbling to adopt AI-friendly systems for its main business.
Meta had been profane in acknowledging that it had to ‘play catch-up’ on AI hardware trends and indulged in information previously undisclosed – including leadership changes, an AI chip project that was abandoned, and capacity crunches. After Facebook rebranded as Meta more than a year ago, the big tech company had been whipping its AI infrastructure to consistency.
Microsoft snagged the caviar of generative AI by partnering with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Amazon’s foray into AI was blatantly obvious with its diligence in Alexa and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Apple’s AI strategy is to bide its time to create well-engineered products that are fully developed although it has ventured into AR and VR as demonstrated in the WWDC 2023, with loaded barrels. Google has been notoriously in the limelight for the roadblocks it has been facing with its AI LLM, Bard.
But what of Meta? Will the tech giant enter the overhyped generative AI race by incorporating AI technology on Meta platforms?
Meta’s AI Plans: Meta WhatsApp AI Chatbot
In the wake of financial struggle over the past few months, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s AI strategy made head-turner news. The company announced novel artificial intelligence-based tools, which were presented briefly to Meta employees.
In recent months, Meta has been forced into delirious decisions of laying off tens of thousands of employees, stimulating $80 billion to be wiped off its value after disappointing earnings reports. The tech giant has also been facing an identity crisis after Faecbook rebranded as Meta and traipsing on thin ice for pivoting its core business from social media to the virtual reality project, the Metaverse.
Meta devoted $10 billion a year to focus on the Metaverse and its competitors fired generative AI products one after the other, garnering a hullabaloo among investors.
As the summer drew to a close, during the course of a five-hour-long meeting to dissect the company’s computing capacity, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s AI strategy was revealed. The all-hands-on meeting took place in Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park and was streamed across its global offices. CTO Andrew Bosworth, Chief product officer Chris Cox and founder Mark Zuckerberg were an integral part of the meeting.
The planned products included Meta’s Generative AI chatbot for WhatsApp and Messenger which were analogous to ChatGPT but could converse using distinct personas.
Meta Platforms also divulged a new Instagram feature that would be able to transform users’ photographs via prompts and create emoji stickers for DMs.
Meta Platforms AI Integration
While Meta has yet to unveil any consumer-facing generative AI products, the tech giant announced a project in its pipeline which enabled a small group of advertisers to test AI tools that could generate image backgrounds and variations of the content presented in Ad campaigns.
“It’s daunting to view Meta’s predicament as anything less than a desperate scramble to play catch-up with rivals on many fronts.”
Furthermore to the Meta AI bot for WhatsApp, Meta also announced a productivity assistant called ‘Metamate’ which could answer queries and perform tasks for its internal employees.
Despite Meta’s AI plans, there is one factual criticism of the tech giant’s decision of allowing users to build their own open-source artificial intelligence-powered chatbots. This could spread hate speech and misinformation at a larger scale, if and when misused.
“We need policies and protocols on board so we’re not rushing into something that might be potentially deleterious for society in the future.”
On Meta’s open-source approach to generative AI, Zuckerberg cajoled concerns stating that democratizing access to AI had a reason. He said that he was hoping for a future where users could construct AI programs without having to be dependent on the framework that was controlled by a handful of large tech companies.
It is also notable to know that Zuckerberg has echoed previous statements confirming that Meta’s AI plans such as the generative AI chatbot on WhatsApp will have no effect on the company’s plans for the Metaverse. Meta will not be abandoning the technology that could be utilized in expanding the virtual world.