It’s no secret that Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, is investing heavily in Artificial intelligence (AI). On June 8, Meta gave its employees a sneak peek of AI tools it was building, including ChatGPT-like chatbots planned for Messenger and WhatsApp that could converse using different personas.
Meta previews generative AI tools planned for its platforms https://t.co/uVoYCEdVKB
— CTV News (@CTVNews) June 10, 2023
The company executives speaking at an all-hands meeting at the Hacker Square pavilion demonstrated an upcoming Instagram feature that could modify user photos via text prompts.
AI Chatbots Are Coming To Meta Platforms
Meta’s dive into the artificial intelligence space include internal-only products like an AI productivity assistant and an experimental interface for interacting with artificial intelligence agents, which are powered by Meta’s large language model LLaMA, according to a summary of the session provided by a Meta spokesperson.
Axios already reported the news that Meta was working on consumer-facing AI agents and photo-editing tools. However, the extensive presentation highlighted several areas where Meta is developing AI technologies and commentary about where it sees this space heading.
The social media giant also laid out its plan to host an internal AI hackathon in July focused on generative AI, which could result in new AI products eventually reaching Meta’s users.
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, emphasized the company’s generative AI plans, noting:
“In the last year, we’ve seen some incredible breakthroughs- qualitative breakthroughs – on generative AI, and that allows us to take that technology now, push it forward, and build it into every single one of our products. We will play an essential and unique role in the industry in bringing these capabilities to billions of people in new ways that others aren’t going to do.
Meta plans to release its AI agents on Messenger and WhatsApp. Still, the platform sees a broader future for such technologies that may expand across its family of applications and eventually to smart glasses, Zuckerberg told employees.
In those cases, the vision is that consumers would wear smart glasses — similar to Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories — to interact with the agents via voice.
Additionally, Meta said in the meeting that it was experimenting with artificial intelligence that would allow users to engage with a text prompt to modify their photos for sharing in Instagram Stories.
This comes from significant consumer interest in AI photo editors, including the viral trend of AI avatars that kicked off last year, landing apps like Lensa AI to the top of the App Store.
AI in Messenger and WhatsApp
Meta is notably bringing AI tools, such as AI agents with different personalities and capabilities, to enable users to have an enhanced experience on WhatsApp and Messenger.
The platform plans to introduce AI stickers in Messenger, which could be generated from a text prompt. Another project, which has yet to enter internal testing, would allow users to type in a prompt on how they want to edit a photo they plan to post to Instagram Stories.
For consumers, however, the benefit of Meta’s entry into this space is that most of these tools (if not all) would be made free to use, thanks to Meta’s ad-supported business. Most competitive apps on the App Store offer only limited AI edits for free but then push users into ongoing subscriptions to try all the features.
Further, Ahmed Al-Dahle, Meta’s vice president, asserted:
“With AI-generated stickers, our users can have infinitely more options for self-expression, cultural representations, and even trend relevance. Of course, stickers are just the tip of the iceberg.
The AI tools will allow users to transform images, such as changing the aspect ratio of a picture or turning a photo into a painting.
Moreover, to the consumer-facing tools, the company also announced a productivity assistant for employees called Metamate. This technology could answer queries and perform tasks based on information from internal company systems.
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