Meta unveils AI assistant, Facebook-streaming glasses

On Wednesday, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new artificial intelligence (AI) products for users, including smart glasses that provide answers to inquiries and bots that produce photorealistic photos.

Zuckerberg emphasized that part of what Meta offered was low cost or free AI that could fit into daily routine and defined the goods as bringing together the virtual and real worlds. In reference to the upcoming release of an Apple headset that would be significantly more expensive, Meta’s Quest is the industry leader in the emerging VR market and the company’s leaders called it the greatest value in the sector.

Zuckerberg announced that a new generation of Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses would begin arriving on October 17 and cost $299 while speaking from a central courtyard on the company’s expansive Silicon Valley campus.

A step up from the previous generation’s ability to take images, the device will feature a new Meta AI assistant and be able to livestream broadcasts of what a user is viewing directly to Facebook and Instagram.

The social network company’s biggest event of the year and its first in-person conference since the beginning of the pandemic, the Meta Connect conference, featured a speech by Zuckerberg.

He also unveiled the company’s first consumer-facing generative AI devices and announced that the latest Quest mixed reality headset would begin delivering on October 10. Both text responses and photorealistic visuals can be produced by the latter’s chatbot, Meta AI.

According to Zuckerberg, “sometimes we innovate by releasing something that has never been seen before.” But occasionally we innovate by taking something fantastic but extremely expensive and making it accessible to everyone or even free.

Starting with a beta release in the United States, Meta AI will be incorporated inside the smart glasses as an assistant. The assistant will be able to recognize locations and objects that people are looking at, as well as do language translation, thanks to a software update planned for the following year.

The robust Llama 2 large language model, which the business offered for general commercial usage in July, served as the foundation for the bespoke model that Meta used to create Meta AI. According to Zuckerberg, a collaboration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine will provide the chatbot access to real-time data.

President of Meta Global Affairs Nick Clegg claimed in a Reuters interview that the company had taken precautions to remove private information from the data used to train the model and had also placed limitations on what the tool might produce, such as a prohibition on the generation of realistic photographs of public personalities.

Clegg stated, “We’ve tried to exclude datasets that have a heavy preponderance of personal information,” using LinkedIn as an illustration of a website whose content was purposefully left out of the analysis.

Custom AI BOTS
Additionally, Meta said that it was developing a platform that both programmers and regular people could use to build unique AI bots. These bots will have accounts on Facebook and Instagram and eventually show up as avatars in the metaverse.

According to a blog post on the company’s website, Meta produced a set of 28 chatbots with various personalities and the voices of celebrities including Charli D’Amelio, Snoop Dogg, and Tom Brady to demonstrate the tool’s possibilities.

Instead than creating new ad surfaces or other revenue-generating opportunities, the features seemed to be focused on improving already-existing apps and devices.

“I don’t anticipate Meta’s monetization of AI goods happening for a while, and I believe it will ultimately be more indirect. The principal analyst at TECHnalysis Research, Bob O’Donnell, observed that they “seem much more interested in aiding in the development of a platform that other developers will use.”

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg added that Quest will start offering Xbox cloud gaming in December.

Around the time Apple unveiled its $3,500 Vision Pro headset in the summer, Meta made its first announcement of the Quest 3 headset.

The Quest 3’s starting price of $500 includes the same mixed-reality technology that was first introduced in Meta’s more expensive Quest Pro device introduced last year, which provides wearers with a video feed of the outside world.

The day’s announcements show how Zuckerberg intends to handle this year’s investor frenzy shift from augmented and virtual reality technology to artificial intelligence.

The parent firm of Facebook and Instagram came under fire from investors last year for spending heavily on the metaverse. This forced Mark Zuckerberg to fire tens of thousands of employees in order to continue funding his vision, raising the stakes for the event.

Developers were observing to determine what applications they might make for Meta’s newest hardware. Investors, however, searched for indications that a risky bet, which has cost the business more than $40 billion since 2021, may turn out to be profitable.


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