MetaPlatforms Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday unveiled new AI products for consumers, including bots that create photo-realistic images and smart glasses that answer questions, as well as an updated virtual reality The headset.
Zuckerberg described the product as bringing the virtual and real worlds together, and emphasized that part of what Meta offered was low-cost or free AI that could be integrated into everyday routines. Meta’s Quest is a top seller in the nascent VR space and company executives touted it as the best value in the industry, a nod to Apple’s upcoming release of a much more expensive headset.
Speaking from the main courtyard of Metta’s sprawling Silicon Valley campus, Zuckerberg said a new generation of Metta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses will begin shipping on Oct. 17, priced at $299.
The device will feature a new Meta AI assistant and will be able to live-stream broadcast what the user is watching live on Facebook and Instagram, which is an improvement over the previous generation’s ability to take photos. .
Zuckerberg spoke at the MetaConnect conference, the social media company’s biggest event of the year as well as his first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic.
He also said that the latest Quest mixed reality headset will begin shipping on October 10 and will introduce the company’s first consumer-facing generative AI product. The latter includes a chatbot called MetaAI that can generate both text responses and photo-realistic images.
“Sometimes we innovate by releasing something that’s never been seen before,” Zuckerberg said. “But sometimes we innovate by taking something that’s fantastic, but very expensive, and making it affordable or even free for everyone.”
Meta AI will be built into smart glasses as an assistant, starting with a beta rollout in the US. A software update planned for next year will give the assistant the ability to identify places and objects people are looking at, as well as translate into language.
Meta built Meta AI using a custom model based on the powerful Llama 2 large language model that the company released for public commercial use in July. Zuckerberg said the chatbot will have access to real-time information through a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
In an interview with Reuters, Meta Global Affairs President Nick Clegg said the company has taken steps to filter out private details from data used to train models and has also imposed restrictions on what the tool can do. What can be created, such as a ban on the creation of realistic images. of public figures.
“We’ve tried to exclude datasets that have a high value of personal information,” Clegg said, citing LinkedIn as an example of a website whose content was intentionally not used. was
Custom AI bots
Meta also announced that it is building a platform that developers and the general public alike can use to create custom AI bots, which will have profiles on Instagram and Facebook and eventually will appear as avatars in the metaverse.
To demonstrate the tool’s capabilities, Metta created a set of 28 chatbots with different personalities styled in the voices of celebrities such as Charlie D’Amelio, Snoop Dogg and Tom Brady, according to a company blog post. has gone
These features are intended to enhance existing apps and devices rather than create new advertising levels or other revenue streams.
“I haven’t seen monetization of AI products for Meta for a while and I think it’s going to be more indirect. They’re more interested in helping build a platform that other developers will use. ” said Bob O’Donnell. , chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research.
Zuckerberg also said Wednesday that Xbox cloud gaming is coming to Quest in December.
Meta first announced the Quest 3 headset in the summer, around the same time Apple debuted its Vision Pro headset, a high-end product with a price tag of $3,500.
Starting at $500, the Quest 3 features the same mixed-reality technology that premiered in Meta’s more expensive Quest Pro device last year, which shows the wearer a video feed of the real world around them.
The day’s announcements reflect how Zuckerberg plans to shift investor enthusiasm this year toward artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies.
The stakes for the event were high as investors last year criticized Facebook and Instagram’s parent company for spending heavily on Metaverse, prompting Zuckerberg to continue funding his vision. Tens of thousands of staff were to be laid off.
Developers were looking to evaluate what apps they could create for Meta’s latest hardware devices. Investors, meanwhile, looked for signs that the company could lose more than $40 billion in gambling losses from 2021 onwards.