2023.09.28 00:01
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30 Billion Users Experience AI! Meta Introduces AI Features to Social Media Platforms and Launches the World's First MR Headset

On Wednesday, Meta held its annual Connect developer conference.

According to Zhītōng Finance, Meta Platforms (META.US) is introducing artificial intelligence features into its applications, providing a ChatGPT-like experience for its 3 billion users. On Wednesday, at the annual Connect developer conference, the company announced that Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp will launch custom sticker creation, image editing, and a range of celebrity chatbot characters, all incorporating generative AI. Meta also unveiled a development studio that allows brands to build their own AI tools for the company's messaging services, enabling them to chat with customers. This means that Meta's 3 billion users will have a similar experience to the OpenAI robot ChatGPT.

In his keynote speech, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "The progress of artificial intelligence allows us to create different AI characters to help us accomplish different things. Our view is that people will want to interact with a variety of AI to do different things they want to do."

This is an important announcement for Meta, as it demonstrates that it can also build AI-based technology that generates text and images based on simple prompts from users. Alphabet's Google (GOOGL.US), Snap (SNAP.US), and Microsoft (MSFT.US) have already launched various tools, capitalizing on public and investor interest in this emerging technology. Meta has been investing at record levels in building AI infrastructure behind the scenes, and Zuckerberg has mocked many consumer-focused ideas in an attempt to prove that the company is also a competitor in the AI race.

During the recent earnings conference call, the CEO emphasized that the social media company has been researching AI technology for years, although this is the first time that consumer services focused on generative AI have become the centerpiece of Meta's annual event. In the past, Connect has always focused on the virtual world.

Last year, viewers wearing Oculus headsets could watch the keynote speech in Meta's virtual reality space, Horizon Worlds, although this may have been a painful experience for first-time Oculus users. Most of the event was spent promoting Oculus' applications in the business environment, conducting virtual meetings, or serving as a gaming platform. AI was only mentioned when it was used to create redesigned virtual characters for users wearing the headsets.

For those who are quickly trying out generative AI features, the AI tools launched on Wednesday may seem more familiar, such as Snap's My AI chatbot or selfie software, as well as Adobe's Firefly image editing product.Meta AI is the latest text-based chatbot launched by this tech giant, running on its large language model Llama 2 and collaborating with Microsoft's Bing to use search information. The company defines it as a digital assistant that can answer questions about real-time information and can also be used to generate images.

The company has also launched 28 robots based on fantasy characters, including famous celebrities' facial video reactions, such as retired Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, whose robot engages in sports debates, and musician Snoop Dogg as the leader of the Dungeon Master adventure. The company stated that these upcoming robots will be limited to the topics they intend to discuss and will be based on information prior to 2023.

Meta's AI image editor has not been launched yet, which will allow users to input text prompts to modify existing images, such as applying visual styles or changing backgrounds. After making any changes, AI will be used to execute the instructions.

Also on Wednesday, the company officially released the Quest 3 headset, the latest version of the device that allows users to switch between virtual reality and mixed reality. The new generation headset Quest 3 starts at $499, which is $200 higher than the previous generation Quest 2 released in 2020, an increase of about 67%. The base model of Quest 3 comes with 128GB of memory, and the version with upgraded internal storage to 512GB is priced at $649.99.

Media reviews have stated that unlike its predecessor Quest 2, which was simply a virtual reality (VR) headset, Quest 3 is more like Apple's Vision Pro, a mixed reality (MR) headset that combines VR and augmented reality (AR). Some reviews also mentioned that Quest 3 marks Meta's transition from VR to MR.