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No company is immune to the generative AI wave and everyone wants to join in. Meta is the latest entrant to testing AI-powered tools for its products. Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company is building “a new top-level product group” to integrate generative AI into its services used by billions of users.
Zuckerberg said the team will initially focus on building creative tools, but the long-term goal is to “create AI personas that can help people in different ways.” However, the company has a lot of fundamental work to do before it can share these “futuristic” experiences with users, he warned.
The company is starting testing text-based AI tools on WhatsApp and Messenger — presumably ChatGPT-style conversational bots. While this could be a nice use case for users, eventually Meta could also leverage these features by offering them to businesses in the areas of sales and customer support.
Meta is also experimenting with AI-assisted filters and ad formats on Instagram, along with “video and multimodal experiences”.
According to Axios, the project will be led by former Apple CEO Ahmad Al-Dahle and the team will report to Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
While generative AI tools have been around for a while, the technology only found mainstream stardom with OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot. Microsoft has already integrated some of that AI goodness into Bing Search and Edge browser. In response, Google also said earlier this month that it is experimenting with a rival product called Bard. Other search engines like You.com and Neeva have also announced AI-powered chat product integrations. Facebook rival Snapchat also launched a custom-trained chatbot for its paid subscribers this month.
It’s not surprising to see Meta go on an AI offensive. Zuckerberg’s big gamble on the metaverse hasn’t paid off yet, and the company will have to find new ways to monetize it. Last week it debuted the Meta Verified subscription program, but as we’ve seen with other social networks, paid subscriptions have yet to show any semblance of a major source of revenue.