Meta, formerly known as Facebook, recently unveiled a range of new AI-powered bots, features, and products to enhance its messaging apps, the Meta Quest 3, and the upcoming Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. These new features leverage the power of generative AI to make Meta’s technology more addictive. Meta described the new AI experiences and features as tools that promote creativity, expressiveness, and productivity.
During Meta’s annual Connect conference, the company made several AI-focused announcements, including the introduction of its latest mixed reality headset and its partnership with Ray-Ban to release smart glasses. All of these AI technologies are based on Llama 2, Meta’s family of open access AI models that debuted in July. Llama 2, a large language model, is trained to generate text and code based on prompts from a mix of publicly available data.
Among the new AI features unveiled at Connect is Meta’s AI Assistant, backed by Bing. The AI Assistant can provide users with real-time information and generate photorealistic images based on text prompts in a matter of seconds. It can assist with trip planning, answer general knowledge questions, and search the internet using Microsoft’s Bing to provide real-time web results. Meta developed specialized datasets anchored in natural conversation that help the AI respond in a conversational and friendly tone. The AI Assistant will be available in beta on WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and soon on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and Quest 3 VR headset.
Additionally, Meta introduced 28 AI personality chatbots based on famous figures from various fields such as sports, music, and social media. Each personality, built entirely from AI, is designed to engage in topic-specific conversations with users across WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Although the knowledge bases of these chatbots are primarily limited to information available before 2023, Meta plans to integrate its Bing search function with these AI personalities in the future. Currently, the chatbots respond via text, but audio capabilities will be added in the coming year.
Meta also launched AI Studio, a platform that enables businesses to create AI chatbots for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Initially focused on e-commerce and customer support, Meta intends to expand the use of AI Studio to empower creators to build AIs that extend their virtual presence across Meta’s apps. The company mentioned that creators would have full control over these AIs and their usage would require their consent.
Furthermore, Meta announced the introduction of generative AI stickers to its messaging apps. Powered by Emu, a new foundational model for image generation, these stickers allow users to create unique AI stickers quickly and easily on WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Stories. Users can simply type in their desired images, and multiple options will be generated within seconds for instant sharing. This feature will initially be available to English-language users and will gradually roll out over the next month.
Meta is also introducing AI image editing features on Instagram. The “restyle” feature allows users to transform the visual styles of their images by typing in prompts like “watercolor” or more detailed requests for specific styles. Additionally, the “backdrop” feature changes the scene or background of an image based on prompts. Meta ensures that AI-generated images will be clearly marked to avoid confusing them with human-generated content and is experimenting with visible and invisible markers for further distinction.
In terms of safety, Meta acknowledges that AI systems can sometimes produce inaccurate or inappropriate responses. To address this, the company has undergone extensive testing, including “red-teaming,” which involves identifying and fixing potentially harmful outputs. In addition, Meta will release system cards alongside its AI technologies to provide transparency about their inner workings and development process.
Overall, Meta’s new AI-powered features and products offer users enhanced creative and interactive experiences across its messaging apps, smart glasses, and virtual reality headset. These innovations demonstrate the potential of AI technology to transform everyday tasks and communications, empowering users to express themselves more effectively and engage with Meta’s platforms in novel ways.